Tag Archives: Virginia Jaffe

COVID-19 Roundup: Office Evolution, Finding Westport, Diapers, Masks, Loose Change And More

A year ago, Office Evolution opened across from Fire Department headquarters. It was the newest entrant into the rapidly developing market for co-working spaces.

On its first anniversary, COVID-19 hit. Suddenly, working remotely was imperative. Yet so was avoiding other people.

Because it delivers mail, and some members do “essential” work, Office Evolution is considered an essential business. Doors are locked, but members have 24/7 access via electronic fobs.

Owner Laura Kaufman knows that working from home is new for many people. So she’s looking for pictures and stories of how that’s going. Anyone posting on Facebook, Instagram, NextDoor or LinkedIn (Office Evolution Westport) will receive a $25 gift card, and a chance to win up to $1,000 more. For more information click here, email westport.ct@officeevolution.com, or call 203-635-8770.

Office Evolution


To the list of great resources for finding what’s open in Westport — restaurants, stores and more — check out FindingWestport, on Instagram and online. It includes store hours, phone numbers and hyperlinks.


Mercy Learning Center has been gratified by the response from “06880” readers to their plea for food, supplies, and funds for rent and bills for the hundreds of women they serve so well in Bridgeport.

Another overwhelming response came from Gina Oliveira Beranek. After posting a request on Facebook’s great Westport Front Porch page, she and another driver headed yesterday to MLC. Their cars were stocked with food — and over 4,800 diapers.

Way to go, Gina and all you Porchers!


As “06880” has reported, Virginia Jaffe and her Greens Farms Elementary School sewing moms are busy every day, making masks. And, Virginia reports, their efforts are paying rewards.

Yesterday they donated 90 to Homes with Hope residents. Since March 30, they’ve given away 350 masks, to bus drivers and other frontline personnel.

There are now 10 seamstresses and 6 fabric cutters, all across Westport. They need help: cutting, sewing, and donating funds to buy fabric, threads and elastic. Just email westportmasks@yahoo.com.

Every donor will get the satisfaction of helping. Plus — just as important — every donor gets a mask.

Virginia adds that the group encourages children to wear masks, by making plain white ones that can be decorated with personal designs. Here’s Jake Martin, with his special theme (and disinfectant):


Every day, Larry Weisman puts his loose change in a jar. The last time he went to the bank, there was $800. He gave it to his grandchildren.

Now — in light of the need, and with the support of his grandkids — he’s donating the money to World Central Kitchen. Jose Andreas’ extraordinary non-profit has already furnished a million meals to hospitals and those in need, while also providing much needed work for restaurants employees.

It’s a great cause. Larry urges “06880” readers to donate their spare change too.


And finally, Ringo Starr, Robbie Robertson and a host of other great musicians were social distancing months before it was a thing:

COVID-19 Roundup: Hotspots; Help; Candy; Goggles; More

A pair of Bedford Middle School 7th graders (and Science Olympiad team members) have taken distance learning to a new level.

Using information from the CDC and WHO, Adi Mittal and Andrew Rebello created a website that helps anyone in the US find the nearest coronavirus hotspot — a place in their state with a noteworthy number of cases.

Hotspotsnearu.com (click here) is insanely easy to use. Just click in your Zip code; you’ll see a map with information on your distance from it. Bookmark it, and check often!


Daniel Sullivan — Westporter Michael and Amy Greenberg’s son-in-law — is a chef. When furloughed on March 13, he was in the process of starting a catering business.

Still, he wanted to help others in need. With an 18-foot open-air BBQ trailer — including a smoker and wood-fired grill — the answer was easy.

On Facebook, Daniel hoped to raise $600. That would cover a great meal, for 200 hospital staff.

He blasted through that goal. Friends came through with $2,700.

Soon he’ll cook meals for Stamford Hospital and Orange Regional Medical Center, in his Middletown, New York home town. He hopes to do the same for Norwalk Hospital, and Westport’s police, fire and EMT workers.

“I want to keep folks fed as long as I can,” Daniel says. To help him do that, click here.

Daniel Sullivan


Westport River Gallery — the great spot on the corner of Post Road West and Riverside Avenue featuring American, European and Asian fine art — is closed.

But owner Ken Warren — who works inside, cleaning and hanging —  put this sign outside:

A steady stream of people stop, pick up a piece of two, knock on the window and give a thumb’s-up. One man left a $20 bill.

“Free candy helps people smiling during an unsmiling time,” Ken says. Candy on indeed!


Julia Marino — Westport’s Olympic snowboarding star —  made a PSA for the US nation team’s “Goggles for Docs” initiative. The project collects ski and snowboard goggles, which offer great protection for healthcare professionals as they work with COVID-19 patients.

Julia’s mother Elaine — a noted local volunteer — loved the idea. Her home is now a local collection point.

Anyone with new or used goggles (adult or children’s size) can sanitize them with wipes or spray, place them in a sealed plastic ban, then leave them in a bin on the front steps at 129 Sturges Highway (near Cross Highway). The sealed part is important: The top of the bin stays open, so no one touches it. Questions? Email esmarino@msn.com.

Elaine Marino, and her Goggles for Docs bin.


Yesterday, Virginia Jaffe and her Greens Farms Elementary School sewing moms donated 135 washable, re-usable masks to Norwalk Transit’s bus drivers. Next up: 100+ to Homes with Hope.


Westporter Kanika Taylor works with homeless and recovering addicts in Bridgeport, through CCAR. She says that while Sacred Heart University has generously opened its dorms to people in shelters who have the virus but don’t require hospitalization, sheets, blankets, paper plates and microwaveable dishes are desperately needed. Donations can be dropped off at 387 Clinton Avenue, Bridgeport.

In addition, financial donations can be made to a restaurant that provides 2 fresh meals to Bridgeporters; the cost is $10 for food and supplies. Send checks to Carmen Colon, c/o Alpha Community Services YMCA, 387 Clinton Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06605.

Kanika Taylor


And finally, the youth group of St. Luke Church created this video. It’s their Easter gift to Westport:

COVID Roundup: Fields Monitoring; Free Coding Class; Mask Making; Easter Baskets; STAR Funding; More

Beginning yesterday, town personnel are monitoring facilities closely. The goal: making sure that physical distance standards are adhered to by all.

Director Jen Fava says, “We continue to find people not only using our closed facilities, like athletic fields, courts, and other recreational areas, but also gathering in groups at these and other Parks & Rec and school facilities. In addition, there continues to be an issue with people not having dogs on leash.

“Parks and Recreation Department staff, in conjunction with school security staff and the Westport Police Department, will monitor the facilities to ensure compliance in an effort to protect the health and safety of our residents. Any non-compliance with staff will be referred to the Westport Police Department.”

Crowds have been gathering at the Staples football field, among other venues.


Looking for a new hobby, for yourself or your kids?

Learn to code — for free.

Staples High School Class of 1992 graduate Mark Lassoff has made a career offering tech ed videos online. Now he’s paying it forward.

Lassoff’s Fairfield-based Framework TV COVID-19 Code Camp teaches digital skills like coding, web development and digital design — for free. No prior experience is needed.

Video lessons and activities are offered 4 times a week. It’s interactive: Participants get to know each other, and ask questions of instructors.

For more information and registration, click here.

Mark Lassoff


For the past 2 years, Virginia Jaffe helped make costumes for the Greens Farms Elementary School play. Now she and her fellow designers are putting their creative skills to use by making masks for men and women on the front lines — in food stores, markets, hospitals, medical offices and the like.

Virginia, Jurga Subaciute, Marisa Zer and Taran Gulliksen set up production lines in their homes. They make over 100 masks a day. “We’re home schooling, house cleaning and meal making,” she says. “But we can also cut fabric and sew.”

As national and state officials urge Americans to wear masks, the need will grow.

The women need unused flat 5mm or thin rope elastic. Colors do not matter.

In addition, they’re looking for people with sewing machines who wants to help. “We’ll give you instructions and patterns for making masks,” Virginia says. “And we will coordinate where they need to be sent.”

If you can’t sew but want to get involved through a financial contribution (to purchase fabric, threads and elastic directly from a Norwalk supplier who offers heavily discounted prices), see below.

If you know of a group of local front line workers who need masks, she’d like to know too.

To donate elastic and/or funds, offer to help, or suggest recipients, email Westportmasks@yahoo.com.


With all that’s going on, add another stress: how to fill an Easter basket.

Savvy+Grace’s doors are closed. But energetic, creative owner Annette Norton offers safe (curbside pickup) for orders. And every one includes a solid chocolate bunny!

Email savvyandgracewestport@gmail.com. Include:

  • Your full name and cell phone
  • The age, name and gender of the gift recipient
  • The gift recipient’s size (top and bottom)
  • The recipient’s interests (dance, theater, type of sport, etc.)
  • Pierced ears? Likes jewelry?
  • Any other info that might be helpful.

Annette will text back with photos and prices, for your perfect basket.

Annette Norton is ready for Easter.


Laura Blair is one of STAR’s best fundraisers. This time of year, she’s usually a familiar figure outside stores and Staples sports contests, collecting pledges and donations for the annual Walk, 5K and Roll at Sherwood Island State Park.

STAR serves individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The event helps support 12 group homes and 10 apartments, assisting 110 people with independent living, plus training and job placement to nearly 250 adults.

This year, the fundraiser is online. Click here to help Laura reach her $15,000 goal.

Laura Blair is a fundraising STAR.


And finally, what better way to end the week than with the wonderful Louis Armstrong: