I was talking to my friend Becky this week and we were talking about all the positive help and giving that has come out during one of the worst times this country and New Jersey have experienced. When you really think about it we’ve almost taken this act of kindness for granted.

When the restaurants here in New Jersey got hit and had to close with only curbside pickup or outdoor dining was allowed, people flocked to their favorite restaurants and left significant tips. I talked to some restaurant owners who were taken aback by the amount of support. Of course they continue to struggle and sadly some of these great eateries have closed forever. The strength, the positive attitude and the sacrifice that these restaurant owners have made to try to survive is remarkable and a great example of fortitude.

I watched people put Go Fund Me pages up for individuals struggling to pay funeral or medical expenses for their loved ones and invariably the money goals were exceeded due to the generosity of friends and complete strangers.

I first hand experienced an unbelievable level of care while I was in the hospital from nurses, doctors and all the care workers that I encountered. They literally risk their lives taking care of those who are so sick and highly contagious all the while keeping focused, calm and exhibiting a great attitude to those who they provide care.

I watched people who were suddenly unemployed standing in line to get donated food and groceries for their family. I saw the doors of Fulfill, the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties soliciting and receiving thousands of pounds of food to feed those in need. I saw out of work musicians get together to raise money for Fulfill, and many other charities who all experienced huge budget cuts, all the while those musicians not knowing when their next paid gig would come.

Thank you all for helping each other. We are Jersey strong; we’ll get through this because we have each other’s back. Stay safe and stay healthy, please continue to give what you can. I’m proud to be New Jersey.

READ MORE: LOVED & LOST — NJ’s lives lost to COVID-19