Editor, Townsman:

Our family would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the entire community of Andover and beyond for its incredible generosity and spirit of giving.

The other weekend, our family decided to host an informal food drive out of our driveway in response to a request for food and donations that we received in an email from Lazarus House. We called it a "Driveway Drop and Dash" with the intention being that people could just drop off donations in a safe way without having to interact with anyone or go inside any building to deliver items.

I wrote an email to some friends and neighbors and posted it on Facebook. My kids posted it on their Facebook pages.

If I was not a believer in the power of social media, I am now.

Our friends shared our posts on Facebook. Our church posted it on its website and passed it along to other houses of worship. The principals at West Middle School and Andover High School forwarded our request along to their students and staff. Clubs, sports teams and coaches from the high school passed the word along as well. The response was incredible.

In one short week we shuttled eight full carloads of food, diapers, wipes and various other needed goods to Lazarus House. We received over $1,500 dollars in monetary gifts for the Lazarus House. We received 99 separate donations; many were anonymous, and so we can not thank them personally.

We even got five Amazon boxes of food from former Andover residents who had moved to California.

The generosity of residents of Andover and the surrounding area is astounding. We feel very proud to be a part of this community. Thank you to everyone who opened up their pantries and their wallets to make this such a wonderful success. Lazarus House was overwhelmed by the support of this one drive.

The needs continue to grow with the recent increase in unemployment. On a recent Wednesday alone they served over 850 families.

For more information on how to help, please visit lazarushouse.org.

Ame Matuza

and the Nepomnayshy-Matuza family

Andover

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