Coping as a community

Asher Heimbuch '22, Web editor

ALL IN THIS TOGETHER: The Campus Shop in The Village has collected food items for those in need. Grosse Pointers are
welcomed to leave their excess food or pick up anything they’ve been looking for.

In the face of difficult times living with the coronavirus pandemic, local Grosse Pointers are stepping up in unison to battle the virus and assist those in need.


South parent and Grosse Pointe resident Monica Mourad started a fundraiser in the community to benefit the health care workers of local hospitals. Beaumont Grosse Pointe, Ascension St. John, Detroit Medical Center and the Veterans Hospital in downtown Detroit have all benefited from the donations Mourad has collected. She said this idea began with a post on her Facebook to solicit donations.
“I started a page on Facebook called Feeding the Front Lines,” Mourad said. “I wanted to post updates for the community and to let them know who is receiving the donations on a particular day.”
According to Mourad, the overall action of Grosse Pointe community members has been tremendous. She said businesses including Atwater Brewery, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Better Made have also made contributions to her efforts, with other restaurants offering price breaks.
“I have been very fortunate to have had such great community support,” Mourad said. “I had a great donation of 200 bottles of hand sanitizer from Atwater Brewery, and I split the bottles between Beaumont Grosse Pointe and St. John. Also, there was a very generous food donation from Potbelly Sandwiches in Campus Martius and Better Made Chips who donated nine cases of chips. Other restaurants have given discounts on meals as well– they’ve all been great and very accommodating.”
According to Mourad, hospital workers have been very appreciative of the community for all the help they’ve received at this difficult time. She said she has been receiving feedback from most employees, thanking her and the entire community for their generosity.
“The response has been overwhelming,” Mourad said. “They are so grateful for the Grosse Pointe community support. It lifts their morale at a very stressful and uncertain time, and I’ve received pictures and texts from many of them thanking me and the community.”

One of three owners of The Campus Shop Adam Steiner said their store is always trying to help the people of Grosse Pointe
“Since opening seven months ago, we have made clothing that has raised money for different occasions,” Steiner said. “During (the coronavirus), we have been selling “Peace, love, Grosse Pointe” shirts. All proceeds will go to help local families.”
Steiner said The Campus Shop has provided food for those in need outside their store.
“We also have a cart full of food in front of it right now,” Steiner said. “That way, if anyone needs anything, they can come by and have a look.”

Steiner said the community should rely on each other for support and guidance in the current pandemic.
“Right now, kindness is my number one priority,” Steiner said. “All we have in this community is each other. The ups and downs over the next few weeks are going to be really hard for a lot of people. Just smile a little more and know that this will pass.”
Parcells Middle School teacher Chris Geerer said the shortage of medical supplies that her brother and her husband– who are both in the medical field– were experiencing fueled her decision to gather up materials for donation. Geerer immediately thought of Parcells and the unused equipment that could be put to use.

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Rock in front of South was painted in commemoration for community members who have put themselves at risk.

“Last Saturday, I spoke to my brother, and he was exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient and was wearing the same disposable N95 mask, day after day,” Geerer said. “Some of his coworkers were treating patients without masks at all. They were desperate. At the same time, my husband found a few N95 masks in our garage and said he’d take them in for the 350 home healthcare nurses who were also working without personal protective equipment. Thinking of Parcells science labs, I asked (my husband) if they could use goggles or gloves and his eyes lit up.”Geerer said one of the most sought after personal protective equipment items are face masks, as they have been in great shortage. Contributions of these masks were made, she said, along with other high-demand supplies.
“The most valuable items were the N95 masks,” Geerer said. “They were also the hardest to find in large quantities. But, we scraped together at least 30 of those from individual donations. We delivered hundreds of goggles– many from Clarkston schools as well as Grosse Pointe– and dozens of boxes of disposable gloves, some hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes too.”According to Geerer, the response from the donations was positive. She said she gives credit for this effort to each person who was kind enough to donate.
“My brother in the ER was very grateful for the N95 masks and shared them with coworkers,” Geerer said. “Henry Ford at Home has sent several “thank-yous” to Grosse Pointe and Clarkston administrators, and to me. But really, all I did was ask. The community was gracious and generous, and things just showed up on porches for pickup or at my back door.”
Geerer said there are many heroes in our community. She said those who do their part by following state and federal orders are helping to slow down this virus, flatten the curve and, ultimately, save lives.
“I see everyone in the community who chooses personal sacrifice for the common good as role models for our kids,” Geerer said. “Everyone who continues to work in essential jobs to keep us safe and fed, everyone who practices social distancing as asked, everyone who helps neighbors who are at risk in order to slow the rate of infection and save our healthcare workers are role models. This is a terrible situation to be in, but I do have faith that our society will be better for having lived through it with grace and generosity.”