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PRINCETON — The health care providers at Perry Memorial Hospital enjoyed a free Jimmy John’s lunch on Thursday as part of a “Feed a HERO!” campaign started by a Virginia man and his wife.
The man happens to have family connections working at Perry and sent a portion of his fundraising money to Princeton for the Perry Team to enjoy.
Virginia native Matt Curry is the brother of Kathy Blanford, Perry’s infection control nurse, and uncle of Dr. Christopher Blanford. Curry and his wife, Judy, are on a mission to feed 100 heroes a day during the coronavirus pandemic.
They started a GoFundMe page called “Feed A HERO!” just over a week ago and are hoping to raise $50,000 for their endeavor. So far, the campaign has raised close to $8,000.
Part of the mission is to purchase meals at local restaurants to support their efforts during this time when businesses are struggling to make curbside pickup and delivery worth it amid the shelter-in-place orders.
Kathy said she’s proud of the work her brother and sister-in-law are doing in Virginia.
“It’s kind of the ‘Curry way’ to give back and pay it forward,” she said. “This is what my mom and dad instilled in us.”
Her brother’s efforts have inspired her to pay it forward by purchasing lunch for the staff at the Illinois Veterans Home in LaSalle. Christopher and his wife, Adri, have also paid it forward by purchasing pizza for Perry’s clinic and ensuring the fridge was stocked full of drink options.
Christopher said these sort of acts help take the stress off the medical staff and remind them that people in the community are thinking of them during this time.
“People are doing well, but it’s stressful. Here, it’s the calm before the storm. We’re worried it could get bad, but we’ve taken the necessary steps to be prepared for this,” he said.
Kathy added Perry’s hospital and clinics are very prepared and “everyone is doing their part, and we have great leadership.”
Those interested in donating to the “Feed a HERO!” mission can do so by searching for it on the GoFundMe website. All proceeds raised are spent directly to help feed and deliver nutritional, individually wrapped meals for health care providers, aka “heroes.”