Area residents give back to first responders


KIRKLAND — Supporting essential workers since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be getting a lot of support. One local resident decided she would support the Kirkland Police Department with soup and crackers.

Valerie Lockwood, of Oriskany Falls, posted on Facebook asking if anyone would be interested helping her help out first responders. She said she received an "outpouring of love" in the way of replies.

"I have a Tupperware online sales business,” Lockwood said. "I also have another friend, Jenny Woods, of Waterville, who has the same type of business who wanted to help me. So between her and I we made cup of soup packages and donated to over 75 first responders, including the Kirkland Police Department."

Lockwood said they also dropped off similar packages to area hospitals and the Troop D New York State Police field office in Waterville.

Johnson said she has a lot of friends who are doctors, nurses and certified nursing assistants, who she wanted to help.

"We just wanted to show them support," Lockwood said "Show them some love and to let them know they are appreciated even though these are some very dark days for them."

"My friend Jenny and I went out and bought all the supplies together," Johnson said. "And then we delivered them to the locations."

Lockwood explained people in the community put up the $7 for the soup mugs after she posted a Facebook request on her Tupperware page under the heading "Adopt a First Responder."

"The people in the community donated for the mugs," Lockwood continued. "Then we put the chicken noodle soup, packages of oyster crackers, lifesavers and little inspirational notes thanking them for their courage, for being the people they are, and the he things they do to make us safe everyday."

Special Administration Officer Shawn Occhipinti said the entire staff at the KPD was overwhelmed with gratitude.

"Valerie is a very good person," Occhipinti said. "It was a nice surprise. Thank you for your continued support.

When asked, "why soup in a cup?" Lockwood explained her thinking.

"Well, first off it's not going to go bad soon, it has some shelf-life," Lockwood said. "A lot of these first responders their shift might over at noon, but that doesn't mean they're going to get out at noon. If something comes about and they get back to their office, and say I'm really hungry, but still have a bunch of paperwork to fill out, then they can put off lunch for just a bit without it going bad."

Lockwood also said once the soup is gone they still have the mug.

"The mug is microwave safe and you can reheat in it," Lockwood said. "So once the original soup is gone,the mugs are a nice product so down the road they can use it to take leftover meals back and forth to work to use another day."

Plus, Lockwood said there was one other advantage.

"I'm kind of hoping that mug will remind them," Lockwood said. "Remind them, you know like in two months, there was someone nicest enough in the community who thought of them during not only these dreaded days, but all the dreaded, but so vital days of these professions."


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