Beam of light: Tommy’s Supplies in Somers

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

Tommy’s Supplies, a distributor of tattoo and body piercing equipment based in Somers, CT, has donated and delivered boxes of gloves and other medical supplies to the Shriners, hospitals and assisted living facilities throughout the state.   

Owner, Tom Ringwalt Jr., said “I have lost many family members and friends in the past so I know how it feels to lose loved ones and if I can save just one life that would mean the world to me because my heart — like my father always said — is bigger than any man’s wallet. Just being capable of having these supplies on demand to help in these tragic times fills my heart with love and joy knowing that I could help save lives. I have always had a heart of gold and I will always stay true to who I am. I love life, I love people and every life on this earth is precious and valuable. I’m not a hero but a human being helping out another human being.” 

Tommy’s Supplies are continuing to offer curb-side pickup for customers and are working on getting more supplies soon. 

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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