MONROE, CT — Monroe residents have come together during the COVID-19 pandemic, sharing health information, cheering people up with drive-by birthday parades, and running errands for those quarantined in their homes.
An online promotion on the Monroe, CT Residents Facebook page will honor the community’s unsung heroes, promote local businesses and raise money for families in need to heat their homes this winter.
With Valentines Day around the corner, Elisabeth Medaris, of Monroe, came up with the idea for the Heart of Monroe campaign to give residents a way to show their love of town businesses.
“We’ve been dealing with this pandemic for nearly a year,” she said. “Looking back, I have seen several amazing community members act selflessly to support one another. I thought it would be nice to acknowledge them.”
To participate in Heart of Monroe, create a special Valentine, check in at a Monroe business and post a selfie or have someone take a photo of you with your homemade valentine. Instead of making a valentine, you can make a heart sign with your hands.
“Valentines can be as simple or elaborate as you wish,” Medaris said. “Have fun with it! You may enter as many times as you like. There are three categories: Restaurant, retail and services, one gift certificate per category. Any Monroe business is eligible.”
However, a participant cannot enter on behalf of a business owned by them or a family member.
Those who do not feel comfortable entering a business for the promotion, can still check into that business from home, and post their photo with their valentine. Facebook has a check-in feature to find a business.
An unsung hero
When you post, use the hashtag #heartofmonroe. As an added bonus, participants who choose to, may also tag an unsung hero as the “Heart of Monroe” and they’ll be entered to win the Heart of Monroe award and a gift certificate.
Nominees for the Heart of Monroe must be town residents, who have selflessly done a lot for their community.
“Want to go the extra mile? Include the donation link to Project Warmth,” Medaris said.
She said Barbara Fahr, one of the managers of the Monroe, CT Residents page, suggested tying the campaign to Project Warmth, a town program that assists residents in need with their utility bills and could really use the donations.
“The post-holiday season can bring about a bit of a slump in businesses like retail and restaurants,” Medaris said, adding of the promotion, “people get the blues, too. I thought it might lift some spirits.”
Entries will be received up until 5 p.m. on Feb. 15. Ironwood Craftsmiths, a local leather shop, will donate one dollar to Project Warmth for every entry, up to $300.
Participants will also be entered to win a gift certificate to the business with the most posts. Winners will be announced Feb. 20.
Ironwood Craftsmiths and the administrative team of Monroe Residents may post, but are not eligible to win. Rules will be re-posted regularly.
“This time of year can bring a post-holiday slump for everyone,” Medaris said. “Let’s turn that around! Celebrate your love for Monroe, and each other, by entering to win a gift certificate to a winning business.”