Several times each week, Abby Glassberg of NAI KLNB travels from her home in Columbia to a large warehouse in Baltimore City to complete a four-hour evening shift assembling face shields to support medical professionals within the Johns Hopkins Medical System. A self-described “morning person,” Abby has worked the evening shift from 9:30 pm to 1:30 am with about 30 others since mid-March.
Operating numerous shifts throughout the day and drawing between 25 and 50 volunteers for each session, Johns Hopkins has produced more than 100,000 face shields to date.
“The first time I arrived, they handed me an extra knife and asked me to carefully carve out pieces of foam for the shields. Now that I have proven my aptitude, I graduated to using the hot glue gun to apply earpieces and foam. They obviously have a lot of confidence in me,” she laughed.
Asked to explain her serial volunteerism, Glassberg turns humble and shies away. “I am just grateful for everything I have and thank my parents for instilling this into me. Sometimes people working within the commercial real estate industry don’t realize how lucky we really have it. Working with great projects and fantastic people, I consider it my obligation to give back,” she said.
Glassberg’s selfless volunteerism is among a number of activities by NAIOP-MD member companies and individuals to help support local businesses and those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
Continental Realty Corporation launched its internal “Eat Local” stimulus program to benefit the company’s more than 300 nationwide team members, as well as eateries contained near its portfolio throughout eight states. Between now and May 15, CRC employees will be reimbursed for up to $200 in receipts for menu items purchased at restaurants throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the country.
“It is important for our team members to practice social distancing but, at the same time, we feel extremely strongly about initiating a program that benefits our loyal and hard-working team members and supports the restaurant sector,” said Crystal Frey, Senior Vice President, Human Resources for CRC.
Corporate Office Properties Trust has initiated a virtual food drive to support the Maryland Food Bank and Lee & Associates, through its national 501c3, CompassionateLee, is hosting a national blood drive across all 60 of their offices.
CompassionateLee founding board member, Kate Jordan, from Lee & Associates Chesapeake Region said, “In times of great uncertainty, we tried to think of a way that people could give without having to reach into their pocketbooks. We settled on blood because it is something that is universally needed and only takes time. The Red Cross is facing dangerous shortfalls in blood due to COVID-19 related cancelations of blood drives. We were impressed with the professionalism of the American Red Cross in mainstreaming the process across so many geographic regions.”
YourSpace Storage, an affiliate of Hill Management Services, usually sponsors free Easter Egg hunts for communities near its Owings Mills, St. Charles, Nottingham and Bel Air locations. Since that was not possible this year, the company donated 4,000 eggs stuffed with candy to the Upper Chesapeake and Harford Memorial hospitals for the medical staff to enjoy.
Merritt Clubs, an affiliate of Merritt Companies, launched a series of free fitness classes that are available on various social media channels, as well a host of virtual at-home activities including story time for children and cocktail-making demonstrations. Membership fees have also been waived.
Merritt Properties tenants have creatively developed and executed programs to support the community. Maryland Packaging donated 10,000 units of sanitizer to the Georgetown Medical Center and Living Classrooms, as well as 6,000 additional units to the Howard County Sheriff’s department. As of last week, the company has also contributed 1,000 meals to nurses, doctors and first responders.
In addition, Arundel Christian School has been taking care of essential workers’ children, Saval Foodservice donated food packages to restaurant industry workers in need, and HomeSlyce provided meals to the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University and Howard County General Hospitals
“The sense of community is strong, and we’re very proud of the way our customers are stepping up to support local communities in need,” said Noelle Hewitt, Marketing, Merritt Properties.