Senator Shelley Mayer and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will host the 2021 Women’s History Month Celebration virtually on Tuesday to recognize exceptional women from their Senate districts.
Each year, Senator Mayer recognizes outstanding women from the district who go above and beyond to serve the community. This year, Senator Mayer focused on recognizing women who helped their communities overcome the challenges of the pandemic. This year’s honorees served their communities by organizing numerous food drives, leading mask making efforts, and booking vaccine appointments for hundreds of seniors.
“During times of crisis, the helpers in our communities provide tangible support, spiritual fortitude, and hope that we will get through this,” said Senator Shelley Mayer. “These women showed exemplary leadership during the worst crisis our nation has faced in 100 years. This year’s honorees went above and beyond to help our communities overcome the severe challenges imposed by the pandemic including severe food insecurity and shortage of PPEs. I am grateful to them for all of their work and hope the community joins in their celebration.”
Senator Shelley Mayer’s 2021 honorees:
- Jeanhee Chung (Mamaroneck), Mask Maker & Founder of SewForNY.org/SewForCT.org: When the Coronavirus Pandemic began, Jeanhee heard there was a mask shortage and wanted to help. She knew she couldn’t do enough on her own, but thought she could put her web-developing skills to good use and connect those who were willing to help, with those who needed masks. Through this effort, Jeanhee founded SewforNY.org and SewforCT.org. Jeanhee is immensely grateful to all of the volunteers who sewed over 16,000 masks for people in need. While she and her son Linus personally sewed hundreds of masks, the operation was made successful by the donated labor of many more people including the sewists, delivery drivers, donors who paid for materials & postage, and other volunteer organizers in NY and CT who combined forces to make PPE. Sew For NY was only one of dozens of such groups in the Tri-State Area, each with hundreds of volunteers sewing and organizing to protect our country from COVID-19.
- Shari Matusow and Valerie Sloan (Armonk), Volunteers Helping Seniors Make Vaccine Appointments: After making appointments for many of their friends and family members, Shari and Valerie joined forces to make appointments for seniors in need throughout their community. Together, they have made over 300 appointments for seniors and teachers. Social media groups promoted their efforts, and strangers reached out to them for help. Shari and Valerie find the work immensely rewarding, and it’s been what has kept them moving forward until it is their time to get the vaccine.
- Jeni Wallace (Yonkers), Food, Toy, and PPE Drives; Executive Director of the Matthew Wallace Foundation: Jeni serves as the Executive Director of the Matthew Wallace Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2014 in memory of her 17 year old son Matthew who was killed in 2013. The Matthew Wallace Foundation has been instrumental in feeding the community and distributing PPE items throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past year, the foundation has served 800 meals per week for 8 months; delivered food to homebound seniors and quarantined families for 4 months; distributed thousands of PPE items including masks and hand sanitizer; distributed 800 Halloween costumes to children in need; hosted a socially distanced Trunk or Treat for 1,200 children; and hosted a holiday celebration for families in need during the month of December where the foundation distributed 500 turkeys, 300 bags of groceries, 400 blankets, and 1,200 toys.
Honorees will receive proclamations from Senator Shelley Mayer and will speak at Tuesday’s celebration. Senator Mayer will also recognize the 2020 honorees with a special video tribute since COVID-19 prevented a formal in-person event.