North Brunswick reaches out to other states to share messages of hope

NORTH BRUNSWICK – North Brunswick’s Initiative of Hope is an effort to help other states impacted by COVID-19.

Residents are being asked to share messages of encouragement, positive suggestions about how to make it through the challenge of the novel coronavirus pandemic, lessons learned from the value of helping one other, ways to care for a senior citizen, and examples of kindness and love.

Currently, the initiative is being extended to towns that have a population similar to North Brunswick, such as Oakland Park, North Lauderdale, Altamonte Springs, Winter Garden and Ormond Beach in Florida; Oro Valley, Marana, Sierra Vista, Prescott Valley and Prescott in Arizona; and parts of Texas.

“I think this is a great project for all of us to be part of,” Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack said during the Township Council meeting on July 6.

Womack said he is already writing letters to fellow mayors “to let them know if they get the kind of support there that we had in North Brunswick, it will be a very encouraging and heartwarming time for them.”

Students in grades K-2 can draw, paint or make colored pencil pictures of hope.

Students in grades 3-5 can create chalk designs on sidewalks or driveways. Students may take photos of their work and email their design, including their name.

Students in grades 6-8 are asked to design banners or posters. Take photos or drop off the signs at the municipal building, 710 Hermann Road.

Students in grades 9-12 can make videos, stones painted with words of hope, or masks.

Adults are also encouraged to send messages of hope.

Anyone who purchased an #NBSTRONG T-shirt during a recent fundraiser for the North Brunswick Food Bank is encouraged to wear the shirt in a video or incorporate the message into their artwork, said Lou Ann Benson, director of the North Brunswick Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services, who is leading the program.

“We have a really caring town and I know people will come through this,” Womack said during the township’s COVID-19 briefing on June 30.

All messages of hope must be submitted by July 20 to lbenson@northbrunswicknj.gov, or call 732-247-0922, ext. 475 to arrange a safe, socially distant collection of items.

In addition, a banner board will be located outside of the municipal building, 710 Hermann Road, for residents to sign. Visit on July 13, 15 or 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Signers will be expected to wear a mask and stay socially distant.