Officer and Dispatcher Delivered Check from Charity Auction Over the Weekend
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in Texas, University of Massachusetts Boston Public Safety personnel raised money to assist Houston first responders, many of who lost personal property and equipment in the recent flooding.
Dispatcher Jessenia Cruz and Officer Matthew Coviello, with the help of their colleagues, auctioned off donated items like gift cards from local businesses, celebrity memorabilia, UMass Boston athletic gear, and other items to raise $5,600— exceeding their original goal of $5,000.
The effort also netted Cruz and Coviello donated JetBlue tickets so they could personally deliver the check in Houston this past weekend and meet with the first responders there.
“We are extremely grateful to have so many individuals and businesses donate to assist the first responders in Houston,” Coviello said. “It left me in awe each time we collected a donation and a business owner would tell us how happy they are to help, and commend us for organizing an effort to offer some relief. … It showed us once again how Boston can come together when fellow Americans are in need.”
More than 30 establishments—from mom and pop shops to big-name stars—donated everything from a month-long free gym membership to signed David Ortiz Jerseys and a Boston Bruins poster signed by the whole team. The Boston Red Sox also donated VIP tickets for the 2018 season.
“I think of first responders all over the country as extended family, and when family is in need, we help with whatever we can,” Cruz said. “These men and women have been working around the clock to try and get Houston back to normal. We as a department wanted to show them that they are not alone. We appreciate and support everything they have done, and continue to do for the City of Houston.”
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