The Power of Love
Several weeks ago, three unstoppable Rye moms — Lisa Hogan, Maria Kacha, and Karen Schulz — put out a call to the community asking for donations to help get Rye’s mom & pop shops through the shutdown and keep the shelves of Bread of Life and Caritas Food Bank full. In exchange, donors would receive a Love Rye sign to display on their lawn or porch. The effort came together quickly in great part because the Rye City Lions Club offered to be the 501(c)(3) funding avenue.
Few imagined the outpouring of support that followed.
In a matter of days, the town and beyond was a sea of heart-shaped signs. Within a few weeks, some 1,200 families had stepped up to aid the small businesses and nonprofits that are a big part of the all-important fabric of Rye — and raised over $137,000.
As the three organizers said, “Not only did the campaign raise funds, but it also generated tons of community spirit and provided comfort. We all are in this together, we all love our neighbors, and we all love where we live.”
As soon as businesses were allowed to reopen, we stopped by to welcome merchants and longtime employees back. Many owners and managers couldn’t wait to show us the letter and the check they’d received from the Love Rye campaign. Several showed us the shout-outs they’d posted on social media. All Paws owner Claudia Baker said she feels “incredibly loved and blessed” because of the campaign by “three amazing women”. Lola owner Caroline Schneider said she was grateful for the donation and the impetus behind it.
The best thing we can do now is continue the proud wave of support by shopping and dining in Rye and giving generously to our nonprofits.
- Robin Jovanovich