Project LIFT was created to lift the spirits of COVID patients and other patients at United Hospital Center fighting illness alone during the pandemic.
During the past couple of weeks, hundreds of items – as well as hundreds of dollars – have been donated by community members, clubs, church groups and other organizations. The donated items, including universal cell phone chargers, cozy blankets, crossword puzzle and adult coloring books, pencils & pens, lip balm, soft ear plugs, neck pillows, throat lozenges and inspirational reading materials – they are assembled into gift bags and baskets and delivered to UHC for distribution.
Monday morning, the Associated Businesses of Bridgeport stepped up in a big way. At the Greater Bridgeport Convention & Visitors Bureau – which serves as headquarters for the project – the ABB presented Project LIFT with a check for $1500 plus 40 universal cell phone chargers and 40 plush blankets.
“The ABB is a community organization and we watch out for worthwhile projects where we can help,” said ABB President Doug Marquette. “We reached out to our member businesses, asking their interest in contributing and they responded in a big way.”
Project LIFT Coordinator Julie Perine said she was thrilled with the donation, but certainly not surprised at the level of generosity from the local business community. For the ABB board to take it upon themselves to organize this collection effort says volumes about the type of organization that it is, she said.
“I am simply in awe of what they have done and can’t express enough appreciation to everyone involved,” she said.
The following ABB members contributed:
About You Monograms, Bonamico Construction LLC, Bridgeport Convention & Visitors Bureau, Bridgeport Farmers Market, Dan Riggs Garage & Towing, Della’s Deli, Cooper Law Office, Expressions Hair Designs, Ford Funeral Home, GAL Land Company, Kaufman Auction & Real Estate, Marquette Insurance Agency, Rominger Dental PLLC, United Security Agency and Venture Real Estate.
The Greater Bridgeport CVB is also partnering with Project LIFT by offering space and manpower to sort items and fill bags. By the time the ABB’s donations are assembled and delivered, there will be more than enough bags for each COVID patient currently at UHC as well as several other patients.
Handwritten inspirational notes are included in the bags with names of contributors indicated.  Items aside, it’s important that these patients know that the thoughts and prayers of the community are with them during a most difficult time in their lives, Perine said.
To become involved or contribute, visit the Project LIFT Facebook page or email Financial donations can be made at the Project LIFT Go Fund Me page.
Editor’s Note: Photos are by Ben Queen. Pictured top/cover left to right are Judy Bonamico, Lisa Lang, Hilary Gonzalez, Cassie Busdeker, Julie Perine, Mark Bonamico and Doug Marquette.