'How can we be there for each other?'

COURTESY PHOTO Paula and Steven Leed, co-owners of Royal Jewelers.

ANDOVER — Steven Leed, co-owner of Royal Jewelers on Main Street, is using his business' downtime to do good for children in need.

After Gov. Charlie Baker closed non-essential businesses due to the coronavirus more than a month ago, Leed said he recognized the stay-at-home order and school closures could easily leave kids hungry.

That's when he decided help out The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence’s “Feed the Need” nightly meal program.

“As a company we are always thinking about giving back. We have been ingrained in Andover for over 70 years,” Leed said. "The only meals they get in the day is from schools, so we contacted the Boys & Girls Club to see what they are doing."

Andrea Nahigian, director of development at The Boys & Girls Club, said that about 225 youngsters pick up hot meals from the club every night between 4:30 and 6 p.m.

Royal Jewelers gave the organization $3,000, or enough to cover one week of meals, Nahagian said.

“(It’s) amazing because right now we are all suffering as a community and we’re all doing our best to continue to give back to those who need it most,” Nahigian said.

The economic downturn has been especially hard on nonprofits like the Boys & Girls Club, which rely on donations from community partners to survive.

“It’s helping us to continue the programming,” Nahigian said. “We are 95 percent funded by community donors and without the donations we would ultimately have to shut down.”

In addition to helping fund the “Feed the Need” program, Royal Jewelers is donating $20 to the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence for every online purchase made by customers.

“What we are living through is something none of us have lived through before and we’re traveling on a road of unknown," said Leed. "So what can any of us do to help out our friends, our neighbors, our community? How can we be there for each other?”


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