Nassau County Legislator John Ferretti was determined to make a difference throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, the Levittown native created the Letters to Our Heroes initiative on March 30.
Ferretti started the campaign to have Nassau County residents send thank you notes, cards and drawings to first responders, including police officers, health care workers, EMS employees and more. After two weeks, he collected about 2,000 thank you letters for the first responders. Ferretti headed to the Eighth Precinct in Bethpage with Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder on April 17, handing out some of the notes to the officers in the building.
“Parents are working from home and kids are home from school,” Ferretti said outside of his Levittown home. “While many of us are home, my family included, our first responders—police officers, firemen, EMS and paramedics—along with our doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care workers—are out on the front lines 24/7. They are working to contain this outbreak and keep our community safe.”
Ferretti’s office printed out the scanned letters a week after they started coming in, and the ones that were sent via the mail were quarantined for an additional week before they were given out. The letters have been sent to local precincts, fire houses and other health care facilities.
“Our community has time and time again shown our ability to come together in times of crisis, and this outbreak is no exception,” Ferretti said. “I urge everyone to take just a few minutes to email or send a letter to be delivered to our community’s heroes in the coming weeks.”
At the March 30 press conference in front of Ferretti’s home, announcing the campaign, Nassau County Police Benevolent Association President James McDermott said the Letters to Our Heroes initiative is truly important for his officers. Not only does the campaign show first responders that they have the support of the community, it also shows they are not alone in this fight as people of all ages come together for the same cause.
“Our officers are oftentimes the tip of the spear when it comes to working with residents who have contracted COVID-19,” McDermott said. “I want to thank Legislator Ferretti for putting together Letters to Our Heroes to boost officer morale and allow the community to show their appreciation for all that our officers do to keep residents safe and healthy.”