Legacy of Pandemic: ‘Everybody is Pulling Together to Make it Better,’ Bevilacqua Says

Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce President Joseph J. Bevilacqua hands out breakfast at Holy Family Hospital in Haverhill. (Courtesy photograph.)

Over the last few weeks, 97.9 WHAV FM has aired daily stories of residents helping one another through this pandemic. Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce President Joseph J. Bevilacqua said he believes that will be the legacy of this crisis.

“This is the most terrible thing that most people in their lifetimes are going to experience, but the one element that’s shining through is that everybody—from all different backgrounds, all different walks of life—everybody is pulling together to make it better,” he said.

Stories of selflessness have included concerts for nursing home residents, free masks and laundry help for first responders and healthcare workers, hot dogs and chips for hospital staff. Bevilacqua told WHAV his Chamber members also wanted to help.

“One of the concerns that kept coming up was the frontline workers—the nurses—that are doing so much each and every day to help keep people healthy so the Chamber found a partner called UniCare—a company in Andover—and found a restaurant, Crack’d (Kitchen and Coffee of Andover), and suggested that we together donate enough breakfast sandwiches for the nurses,” he said.

The team assembled Tuesday morning and delivered 50 sandwiches and coffee each to Holy Family Hospital’s Methuen and Haverhill campuses, and Lawrence General Hospital. Bevilacqua said worker smiles was a reward in itself. “They’re continually thinking about the patients they have. They’re continually thinking about the next day, hoping that it is going to get better,” said Bevilacqua, who is also a Haverhill city councilor.

Each day, 97.9 WHAV FM has been setting aside time to highlight good deeds from community heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen again tomorrow for more.

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