Newbury resident Bob Connors stopped by the new restaurant Pomodori in Newburyport to say hello to his friend and restaurant owner Peter Nikolakopoulos. Nikolakopoulos has been a restaurant owner on the North Shore for close to 20 years (his first establishment is in Ipswich), and he asked Connors how he could get involved in the local community. With the COVID-19 pandemic underway, he wanted to do something for Anna Jaques Hospital workers.
Connors called Mary Williamson, vice president of Development and executive director of the Anna Jaques Community Health Foundation, to see how the hospital was handling donations. Later in the same day, Connors spoke to friend and West Newbury resident Don Doak about what they may be able to do for the hospital collectively.
Connors, Nikolakopoulos, and Doak wanted to recognize the people at Anna Jaques who provide transport, security, maintenance, laundry services, housekeeping, switchboard operators, store room staff and dietary aides—more than 150 employees in all.
“We learned that these employees work different shifts, so we decided a thank you card along with a $20 Pomodori gift card enclosed was the best way to share this small token of gratitude for their selfless work making our community safe,” says Connors. The three friends shared the cost of the gift cards that would be provided to Anna Jaques staff.
Nikolakopoulos employed his children to write the 150 thank you cards. “I wanted this to be a learning experience for my children, Demos and Maria, says Nikolakopoulos. “Maria has perfect penmanship and she outsourced the stuffing and sealing of envelopes to Demos.”
“Anna Jaques has been always been blessed by the strong support of the communities we serve. However, we have been humbled and overwhelmed by the variety of meaningful ways people have shown their appreciation to our employees as we meet the challenges of COVID-19,” says Williamson. “Random acts of kindness, like the efforts put together by this dynamic group of friends and family, reveal our need to connect and support each other on the most basic level. We are truly grateful to Bob, Don, Pete and their families for making our employees feel valued and appreciated.”
For more information on Pomodori, visit pomodorinbpt.com.
For information on Anna Jaques Hospital’s Healthcare Hero’s Fund, visit ajh.org.