‘Residents Helping Residents’ Group Seeks To Assist Neighbors

A group of township residents have banded together to offer their help to Franklinites who might need it while the coronavirus emergency exists.

Referring to themselves as “Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” the group sees its mission as being “a truly grassroots campaign to mobilize volunteers to help those in need,” according to its web site.

Initially, the group will offer non-contact delivery of grocery orders to the COVID-19 at-risk population and assisting the Franklin Food Bank with home deliveries, as needed, according to its web site.

“This is just the beginning,” according to the web site. “We are also looking to help bring in the offers to assist with the hardest hit members of the community as businesses close and schools are closed.”

Rich Seamon, one of the group’s organizers, said things got rolling after he made a social media post to the Stage House restaurant, offering to help deliver meals to those in need.

He said the next morning, Mayor Phil Kramer called him and asked if he would be involved “in something more far-reaching.”

“I said sure, tell me what you need,” Seamon said. “That was the beginning of the discussions of what’s been going on.”

Township Councilman Will Galtieri also became involved, Seamon said, as did a group of residents. Galtieri said the group includes Michele Peterson, Diane Dudas, and Meher Rafiq.

The group established a Facebook page, and has a signup form on its web page.

“We’re going to put up a form on that Facebook page that will be for folks in the community who might have a specific need,” he said. “It will hopefully be ready this weekend.”

Seamon said the group will also work with local and Somerset County government, using them to identify people in Franklin who could use their service.

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