The Boston Celtics have honored a local woman for her dedicated work to help others during the extreme upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic.
The professional basketball team recently recognized Melissa Marrama as a "Hero Among Us" for her role in donating more than 30,000 protective masks to New England residents and for creating a food program that serves meals to homeless shelters, veterans’ homes and more.
Marrama, a wife and mother who works professionally as a financial planner, “has made an ongoing effort to support frontline workers and those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a statement from the Celtics.
“She has secured donations from businesses for local efforts, delivered flowers and candy to nurses, sewed homemade protective cloth masks and more,” according to the statement.
Locally, Marrama was named as a Hometown Hero by The Eagle-Tribune, a sister paper to the Townsman, for similar reasons. She was instrumental in organizing area residents to support healthcare workers and others on the front lines of the pandemic.
However, she stressed she was not alone and this was part of a larger community effort.
Through her professional work, Marrama said she became very passionate about helping the elderly, those in nursing homes and veterans.
She and others in Andover and North Andover have dedicated their front porches as donation drop-off sites, as well as places where people can pick up homemade masks and other items they may need.
Most recently, as the first day of school approaches, teachers have been picking up masks, Marrama said.
Some of her charitable work also involves the Islamic Center of Andover, which was founded by her husband, Faisal Ahmed. The couple has a daughter, Sophia, 13, who attends the Pike School.
Anyone interested in helping with charitable efforts or making a donation can text Marrama directly at 978-996 -2620. She and others are also involved with the Facebook page “Andover/North Andover COVID-19 Preparedness & Support.”
The Boston Celtics established “Heroes Among Us” in 1997. The program recognizes “outstanding individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to their communities.”