By Emma Uber
In a time of economic and medical uncertainty, Hamilton County residents Kristy Murphy, Mona Euler, Amy Hulka and Sharon Phillips found a way to stimulate the local economy while supporting health care professionals.
The Front Line Appreciation Group used donations to purchase meals from locally owned restaurants, then delivered them to those working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
FLAG began in New Jersey. Murphy founded the first Indiana chapter in Hamilton County. The community showed immediate support for the program, with the FLAG Facebook group attracting more than 1,700 members and $10,000 in just more than a week.
“There’s a lot of people who are in a similar situation as me, where you just feel helpless and you want to do something but you struggle to figure out how you can make a difference. FLAG provides that opportunity,” Murphy said. “It’s a very grassroots, genuine effort, and people trust that 100 percent of the money they’re donating is supporting our restaurants, and that it then is going to our front line health care workers.”
Murphy said FLAG is important because it focuses on supporting local workers.
“There have been some restaurants that we’ve been working with that this truly allows them to pay their employees or to bring employees back, which has a downstream effect because then that’s helping that employee to have an income,” Murphy said. “We’re able to really help the restaurants and all of the staff directly, but then as we deliver the meals to the front-line staff, they’re so encouraged by the support that they’re getting from their community.”
For more, visit the FLAG Hamilton County Facebook page.