Updated: Sep 13, 2020
Social media works in mysterious ways. On June 7 of this “uncouth” year, a business located in our little state made the bold move to publicly announce that their previous discount for products given to first responders would NO LONGER be honored. Controversy ensued over this move, as one could imagine, and more division was created.
Approximately 84 days later, and conveniently after the controversy seemingly died down, the same business made the announcement that they were reversing their stance, actually offering free products for customers to pick up and distribute to the same first responders, specifically police officers.
In a Cumberland based Facebook group, appropriately named Uncensored Cumberland Concerns and Issues, an administrator came up with a brilliant idea that served multiple purposes. After hearing the offer of free donuts from Allies, Amy Webster Lacroix decided that it would be better served to ask the group for donations to benefit local first responders. Donations came pouring in. She then used the funds to purchase breakfast for all of the town's first responders including the Fire Departments, EMS and Police. Products were to be ordered from town based businesses. The idea was to help local business, show appreciation for the first responders and (the icing on the cake) attach flyers with the products disparaging the donut shop that started this whole mess. Members of the group not only donated funds to accomplish this goal, but they also printed up the flyers and delivered the tasty treats, not once, but on two separate occasions.
The first delivery was provided by Phantom Farms and they were not phased at all by the order placed on Tuesday for 100 muffins that needed to be picked up Thursday at 6:30 AM. First delivery was all complete by 7 AM on September 3rd. Still having enough funds for another batch, the group contacted Juliana's Bakery and placed another order that was delivered on September 10, once again by the group members. A special thank you to both businesses for filling the orders fast and efficiently with some of the best products Cumberland has to offer. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the incredible gesture by Juliana's Bakery, donating all of the products, with the simple request of giving the remaining funds to charity. Amy did not disappoint, donating over $400 to the Genesis Project RI, a food pantry that serves our home state.
While social media as a whole has it’s pros and cons, it was nice to see how it can be utilized to unite rather than divide. It is stories like this we need more of. Social media and Facebook specifically, are just tools. How we choose to utilize these tools is up to us. One person had an idea-using Facebook as her platform, that idea became an extraordinary reality. Bravo Amy, Bravo.
Edit: It has been brought to our attention that, despite supplying enough treats for all departments, EMS did not actually receive any. Amy and her team are correcting that this coming week with a special EMS delivery of some of Cumberland’s finest products.