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Teacher Leads Facebook Group's Support of White Plains Hospital

By Taliyah Lowe

In tough and anxiety-ridden times, the most important thing we can do is look out for others, whether that is your neighbor or a friend. The White Plains community has been doing just that. Eliseo Lugo, a teacher at Rochambeau, played a vital part in organizing the support of the White Plains community to help out the wonderful and brave staff at White Plains Hospital and to help our small businesses.

Many of the members of the "I’m From White Plains" Facebook group and many business owners assisted. A total of 15 businesses took on this project and helped: Great Wall Chinese, Pax Romana, Delicias DelJireh, Nonna’s Pizza, 10510 Bar and Grill, Westchester Cookies, Tommy’s Café, Domingo’s Deli and Pizza, Baked to Perfection, Lilly’s, Royal Scarlet Deli, Cityline Deli, Mariachi Loco, Firehouse Deli, and Walter’s Hot Dogs. Over two hundred amazing people donated, gave their time, and delivered meals to the staff at the White Plains Hospital.

Mr. Lugo was personally inspired to help put this project together because he has been a lifelong resident of our great city and an educator in the district since 2001. Helping out was an easy decision for him, and he says that anyone who wants to help out on projects like this needs “to be organized, motivated, and selfless." Lugo continues, "There will be naysayers who may try to throw you off or sabotage your efforts for reasons unknown. It is important to have the resolve and determination to not allow this to bring you down, staying focused on the objective, which in this event, was to thank essential workers at WP Hospital and support local businesses."

Huge projects like this take great communication to be realized. Mr. Lugo explains: "It is imperative that you communicate and are transparent along the entire way, providing updates to everyone involved along the way. Having a positive mindset and never losing sight of the goal helps a great deal."

If you want to organize a community outreach project, Mr. Lugo offers some advice: "I would...advise anyone interested in taking on an endeavor like this to be patient and understanding. Not everyone can give financially, but they can support in other ways. No one should ever feel pressured or guilted into donating. In my opinion, that takes away from the purpose of assisting. Lastly, always show gratitude to everyone that has helped in all capacities. Genuine appreciation and communicating to all is important. Make sure that you are helping out for the right reasons. Not for recognition or to make yourself feel better. Help because you want to help, even if you are not officially recognized. YOU will always know you helped out and no one can take that away from you.”

We all have to remember that there is so much we can do, even from home. We can spread the word online to friends and family to help out, and even send contributions electronically.

We must remain hopeful and know that we will get through this together. Helping out our community won’t just take one person, it will take all of us together. Christopher Germer once said, “Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.” There is no doubt in my mind that we will grow from this experience as a nation, a community, and as people.

On behalf of everyone, thank you to Eliseo Lugo, the members from the "I'm From White Plains, New York" Facebook group, and a huge thank you to our small businesses and our frontline workers for their hard work and continuous motivation from day one.

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