OMG - I’m exhausted, but that good exhausted like you won a grueling slugfest of some sporting contest or you crushed your presentation at work after living on red bull and candy bars for a month. 8,800 gallons of milk, over 4,000 cars, a bunch of walk ups, 5 folks pushing grocery carts (sorry Star Market), 3 bicycles, and 2 folks in wheel chairs. So many ecstatic and grateful people, several broke down in tears when we asked if they needed anything else, several families obviously living out of their cars, and even a few people who just came by and made donations so we can do this again. It was a beautiful and humbling experience all at once. I’m really having a hard time finding the right words to describe the feelings that I experienced throughout the day.
So many people to thank and I know it isn’t the most exciting for the reader at home, but it is so important that I recognize everyone who helped. First and foremost, I cant say enough about my dear friend, partner, not to mention, one of the most genuine and kind people I know - John Hanselman. This was his brainchild and also the sponsor of this program. He is also now known in my house as my boyfriend because over the last 10 days we literally spoke at least 50 times a day, not counting zoom and other conference calls. He also brought in every employee of his company (Vanguard Renewables) to hand out the milk all day long. Our national partner in this is the Dairy Farmers of America as well as all the dairy farmers in Massachusetts - especially the Jordan Family who have a 6th generation dairy farm and 3 of those generations were there giving out milk with us today.
General Faux, General Gaglio, and the 39 members of the National Guard who showed up at 5:30am and didn’t leave till every last drop of milk was gone and then cleaned up the parking lot and left everything spotless. I made a lot of good contacts in the Guard today and I know some those relationships will allow me to help out others in the future.
I would also like to thank Governor Charlie Baker - as I said in the news conference, he was my first call on that Sunday and his only response was “whatever you need, we’ll make it happen.”. And Mayor Walsh who couldn’t have been more gracious and helped spread the word and sent his community police along to assist in any way we needed. Also, Dan Manning - head of the City of Boston Health Inspectional Services - Southie kid and knows everyone in Boston not to mention a BC High dad which was another amazing connection that I made today.
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) - who were all amazing from Director Sam Phillips to the man with the plan - Mike Cawley - Head of Region 1 Nuclear energy and today he added milk to his impressive resume. Also Mass DOT who helped set up and even surprised me by programming all the overhead highway signs to read Milk Distribution Site -Exit 14. Such a nice gesture and totally unexpected.
Hood Milk stepped up and not only processed and bottled the milk for free but they loaded up two refrigerated 18 wheelers and had them loading and unloading all day to make sure the milk remained at the optimal temperature and was never outside for long. The two drivers went above and beyond and stayed way longer than they were supposed to to make sure that everyone got all the milk they needed.
And to Boston College High School who were the ultimate hosts, opening up the school, helping with the set up, providing all the tables and chairs ,as well as taking care of all the trash removal. President Grace Regan was another one of those folks who took my call on a Sunday and said, “just let us know how we can help!”
Just to show you never know where an angel will come from. My next door neighbor, Allyson Peck, works for Starbucks and I jokingly said, maybe you guys can send over a barista to keep the troops caffeinated. Next thing I knew Starbucks at South Bay was calling asking if they could provide the coffee in the morning.
And I’m sure with all the police presence people must have assumed the President was there. The State Police were lining Morrissey Blvd, Boston Police had the grounds covered, and UMASS Boston Police took care of all the exiting traffic.
Thank you also to all the news media - locally we had ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, NECN, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, WBZ, WBUR, and several others. We even got picked up on the CBS Nightly News for a little national exposure.
I personally would like to thank my former intern Ryan Locke and his dad Jimmy for coming up to volunteer handing out milk - it was so nice of them to donate their day in service of others. Also kudos to my former Chief of Staff, Beth Murphy, for running around last night to get me some more tents when a few we had lined up fell through. All three of these guys are from Millis!
So much generosity from Charles River Apparel who provided all the volunteers with amazing rain gear pretty much guaranteeing a beautiful day. Inkify for doing the volunteer shirts as well as the shirts we are doing for the fundraiser. And to so many of you who have bought the Farmers Feeding Families shirt or donated through my go fund me page for the DFA Cares Foundation. This will go a long way to helping fund the next milk give away - and yes, I’m trying to get at least a small one set up down this way.
Sorry for the long post - but today would have never happened if not for the help of this amazing group of people. On to Worcester!
Unfortunately will all this happy news I must report the sad. 132 newly reported deaths today and 1,696 new positive cases were confirmed as well. This brings the ratio back down to 14% so more in line to the flattening curve we were seeing for the past week and a half. Hospitalizations dropped by 126 patients today - the biggest drop we have seen thus far. And the total hospitalized number (3,436) dipped below the April 13th number for the first time. April 13th marked the day they were no longer separating out presumptive from confirmed cases so it is a significant breakpoint because of the change in classification. ICU rates also continued to drop. Thankfully it looks like yesterday was just an outlier as these numbers are more in line with the previous trend.
Well, I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes open so no inspiring stories this evening. Remember - tomorrow at 9pm is episode 2 of Shawn and CiCi’s at home makeover show. You don’t want to miss it. Actually, I have spent every spare moment on milk all week so I have no idea what we are going to do. But its Friday night so join us for a cocktail and watch me once again make a fool of myself. Because everyone needs a good laugh these days and I don’t mind being silly as a public service. And no matter what it is - I will be wearing gloves (the stain is finally gone).
Thank you again for all of your friendship and support and thank you for all of your prayers that the rain would hold out. It was a beautiful day.
Let’s make today better than yesterday but not as good as tomorrow. (I’m really groggy so that makes sense in my head)