By: Megan Roche
For Beverly Weber, the idea came to her pretty fast. A Long Valley lifer, Weber grew up and still proudly calls Long Valley her home. She’s sat on many boards and is the current recording secretary for the Schooley’s Mountain Fire Company. When the coronavirus began to take hold, she wanted to do whatever she could to help those on the frontline.
“I am born and raised in Long Valley and when this started to get bad, I had posted on Facebook that I was putting together boxes of snacks, Clorox wipes, masks, etc. and I made a donation to all three fire companies, the rescue squad, and the police station. While I was doing those donations, a woman contacted me and said, ‘I have 18 pairs of brand new Crocs, can you get them into a local hospital?’ and my neighbor works at a local hospital so I took those from her and passed them onto my neighbor to deliver to the hospital. That kind of all started the question of ‘what can I do to bring this town together?’ because everybody is looking for something to do but they don’t know how or what to do,” Weber said.
Weber then partnered up with Susan Coscia, who owns Blue Owl Wood Signs in Long Valley. The two created “Long Valley, Stronger Together” yard signs. All proceeds from the signs are going toward buying supplies to donate grab and go snack bags to those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. From that partnership with Coscia, came many others.
“People saw the photo of me holding my sign to direct them for donations and people started coming to me to ask how they could get one. I went to Susan and she said ‘let’s do it. They can make a donation and they will get a sign to put in their front yard.’ We’re trying to paint the town Long Valley, Stronger Together,” Weber said.
In keeping with the theme of wanting to come together in times of crisis, Weber has also started working alongside the Long Valley Juniorettes to fulfill the needs of the town’s food pantry. While the idea was just her brainchild, she credits the entire town for coming together in this time of need.
“I became the hub of Amazon boxes being dropped off, people started dropping off masks, and it all snowballed. I didn’t want this to be just about our hospitals and our frontliners. This is about us being a community and I keep partnering with others. I want this to continue with partnerships so that we can make things happen. We’re going to do everything to not make Long Valley Stronger Together go away,” Weber said.
Kids are also being encouraged to get creative at this time. Long Valley Stronger Together is encouraging kids to write thank you cards and letters to those on the frontlines and Weber wants them to be as creative as they can be. The frontliners especially love when the kids draw on the brown paper bags that are filled with snacks and drinks. Any thank you letters and cards can be dropped off at Weber’s home.
If interested in donating, Weber directs any and all messages to the Long Valley Stronger Together Facebook page. Donations can also be dropped off in the blue bins outside Weber’s home. Long Valley Stronger Together yard signs can also be purchased on the Blue Owl Wood Signs Facebook page.