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Beam of light: bahn meee in Hartford

Yankee Institute is proud to present “Beam of Light” — A dedicated place to lift spirits by illuminating the many acts of quiet heroism, generosity, individual initiative and kindness that are happening every day across Connecticut during the coronavirus crisis.  

To share your “Beam of Light” story, please email Jordanne at jordanne@yankeeinstitute.org


Before shutting down both of their Hartford-based restaurants for the safety of their employees and the public, banh meee, offered FREE lunch to all healthcare works until they ran out of food and sent their employees home with food supplies to last them a few weeks.

In a post on Instagram on March 19, 2020, banh meee owner Dung Tran said, “I have always told my team that we should always do the right/best thing and not the easiest thing for our customers and for ourselves. Today, I have to lead by example and follow what I believe in. I have decided to shut down both our downtown store and capitol store after lunch today.”  

After addressing the hardship closing would impose on his employees, Tran continued, “I can’t give [my team] much but they will be given food and supplies that we have on hand to hopefully last them a couple of weeks. We wish the best for everyone and if you work in the Healthcare industry please stop by for a FREE lunch. All healthcare workers will eat FREE today until we run out of food”.  

To learn more about banh meee, visit their website: www.banhmeee.com or follow them on Instagram (@banh.meee). 

Beam of light: Gwen Samuel in Meriden, Middletown, and New Haven

Gwen Samuel of the Connecticut Parents Union organized and fundraised an effort to purchase three free-standing handwashing stations for her neighborhood. Samuel realized not enough children are washing their hands and haven’t been taught the proper way to wash effectively. Samuel said, “We will help families understand the power of washing hands with soap and water by having kids actually washing their hands”.

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Beam of light: South Fire District firefighters in Middletown

The South Fire District firefighters in Middletown, CT donated enough money to run Hinka’s Cupboard Food Pantry for an entire month. Nettie Silverman and her husband started the pantry 3 years ago with $2000 of their own money with one goal in mind, to feed the hungry. The organization relies solely on donations some of which comes from the South Fire District Firefighters IAFF Local 3918.

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