While statewide restrictions continue to be lifted, for health-care workers on the front lines battling COVID-19, there is no reprieve from the daily realities of the disease.
Keyan Vojdani, a rising sophomore at Moorestown High School, is eager to show medical professionals, essential workers and first responders that South Jersey continues to appreciate their hard work.
Vojdani runs a fundraiser called “Signs for Service.” In addition to serving as a show of solidarity for essential personnel, the sign’s proceeds go directly to Virtua Health’s COVID-19 fund.
Vojdani said the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) hit home for his family when his father, a dentist, lacked enough N95 masks to treat dental emergencies. So, Vojdani began brainstorming ways he could help the PPE chain of supply locally.
Given that Virtua Health is the largest medical provider in South Jersey, Vojdani thought if he could donate to their cause, he could make a change on a larger scale. He thought signs would be a great avenue to raise money, because they offered the community a chance to say thank you to the people risking their lives during the pandemic to help others.
Vojdani subsequently created a GoFundMe site where those interested in purchasing a sign can donate $20 or more. After donating, donors fill out a Google form indicating where they would like their sign delivered, or they can arrange to pick it up. Vojdani – along with some help from his family – has been hand delivering signs to donors.
Of the $20 donation, $7.64 covers the cost of the sign and the remaining money goes to Virtua’s fund. Vojdani began the fundraiser in late April, and he has delivered more than 100 signs throughout South Jersey. To date, he’s raised around $3,000 for Virtua Health.
Sarah Fawcett-Lee, senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer at Virtua Health, said as the pandemic began to affect South Jersey, Virtua established the Coronavirus Emergency Fund so anyone who wanted to support its response to COVID-19 could easily do so. Since March, Virtua’s donors have helped the health system do several important things, such as expand telemedicine capabilities and provide fresh, healthy food to the most vulnerable patients.
“During this extraordinary time, we have been touched by students of all ages who have used their talent and creativity to pitch in and help; Keyan’s project is a great example of that,” Fawcett-Lee said.
Vojdani anticipates continuing the fundraiser through the summer. He calls it a simple way for South Jersey residents to show their gratitude to essential personnel for their sacrifices and services during the difficult times.
“These essential workers are the heroes of 2020,” Vojdanii said.
Those interested in donating can do so at https://www.gofundme.com/f/signs-for-service-virtua-covid19-relief-fund. Anyone with questions can contact Vojdani at firstname.lastname@example.org.