Meal train, home bingo events uplift community during pandemic

Meal train, home bingo events uplift community during pandemic
By: Albert's Diamond Jewelers Last Updated: April 14, 2020

Ashley Halpern from Albert's Diamond Jewelers and Katie Garza, wife of Dr. Gio Infusio, started a meal train on April 8 for nine area hospital ICU departments. Hospitals include: Community Hospital Munster, Franciscan Health Hammond, Franciscan Health Crown Point, Franciscan Health Munster, Franciscan Health Dyer, Methodist Hospital Gary, Methodist Hospital Merrillville, St. Catherine Hospital East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center Hobart.

"We received $10,000 in donations in less than 3 days, and we were able to add additional days/meals and also add dessert trays," Halpern said. The outpouring of generosity has been so significant that the Meal Train group has paused donations and is encouraging anyone who wants to participate by sponsoring a meal to follow the links on their Facebook Page, and of course, contact them with any questions.

The Halpern Family - owners of Albert's Diamond Jewelers - also has hosted a Facebook Live Weekly Bingo in which viewers can play along at home with bingo cards they are able to download from the internet. Prizes are determined by the families that win, and have included extra dessert, candy, winner picks movie for family movie night, etc.

"We have been told that many look forward to this each week, and some have even started hosting their own FB Live Bingo as a way to connect with family and friends around the country," Ashley Halpern said.