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Collins

Partnerships have always played a vital role in fulfilling the mission of Scranton Tomorrow, and this year, they prove to be more important than ever. Two charitable projects that launched this spring are a prime example: the Electric City Connection and Meals for Medics.

The University of Scranton developed the Electric City Connection in partnership with Scranton Tomorrow and Friends of the Poor. The project provides restaurant gift cards to Scranton residents experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a non-profit organization in downtown Scranton that has always been devoted to improving the quality of life in Scranton, the project was a natural for Scranton Tomorrow. In addition to helping those in need, we are proud to help support city restaurants facing their own economic challenges during this crisis.

Between March and June, the project raised more than $26,000 through community donations, providing more than 2,400 meals to those in need. The outpouring of community support has been tremendous and it shows the true spirit of our city. In addition, we recently received a $20,000 grant from Scranton Area Community Foundation to continue the project. These funds are truly a blessing as they will allow us to continue the project well into the fall, when we expect the need to escalate during the holiday season.

While the Electric City Connection is ongoing, Meals for Medics has come to a successful close. A group of third-year students at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine created the project to support local hospital workers during the height of COVID-19. Through a partnership with Scranton Tomorrow, the project raised $7,600 to provide 670 individually-wrapped, hot meals from local restaurants to staff members working overnight in all departments of Geisinger Community Medical Center, Commonwealth Health Moses Taylor Hospital, Commonwealth Health Regional Hospital of Scranton, and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

The success of Meals for Medics speaks volumes about the power of community partnerships, and the generosity of those who live and work in the region. The project would not have been possible without donations from members of the community, and support from local restaurateurs and volunteers.

Another exciting partnership allows us to highlight members of the downtown Scranton business district in a new way. Scranton Tomorrow is partnering with fashion stylist and blogger Maggie McGregor, creator of Style Mag Daily, to feature downtown Scranton businesses through an exclusive video series on Style Mag Daily’s Instagram TV. Style Mag Daily is a fashion blog that empowers an authentic sense of self and promotes mental well-being. Themes focus on the variety of businesses that make our downtown so unique, from personal care services to restaurants, and from boutiques to bakeries. Multiple shows each week give business owners a chance to share updates on what’s happening in their industry, and offer promotions exclusive to Style Mag Daily viewers. For a recap of shows and the upcoming schedule, visit Style Mag Daily on Instagram.

For updates on the downtown Scranton business district, follow Scranton Tomorrow on social media, and visit our website at www.scrantontomorrow.org.

Leslie Collins is executive director of Scranton Tomorrow, a community non-profit group.

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