Rise lends voice to local students to express “Hightstown State of Mind”

By Wendy McDade, Aug 3, 2020 – Rise A Community Service Partnership

Due to the devastating effects of COVID 19, Rise: A Community Service Partnership is helping three times as many families through its walk up Pantry and drive thru Pantry events. “Hightstown is a strong, proud and hardworking community that is suffering from a pandemic not just of a virus, but of its resulting substantial job losses,” states Leslie Koppel, Executive Director of Rise. “But we know that when our community is challenged, that’s when our community rises.”

Rise has a 50-year track record of service in the Central New Jersey area, offering a wide range of client support services while also operating the Rise Thrift Store, Youth Academic Enrichment Programs and the Rise Pantry, which served 976 families in its most recent distribution of groceries and staples. Koppel observes: “Our endlessly generous community has really come forward to donate many food items to the Pantry, but we are still struggling to keep up with the extraordinary circumstances that our clients are experiencing.”

As a result, Rise turned to local students to tell the story of the community that is Hightstown. Borrowing from the iconic anthem “Empire State of Mind,” by Jay Z and Alicia Keys, the students rap and sing, “harsh times bring hard lives,” but “Exit B is where dreams are made, there’s nothing you can’t do when you’re in Hightstown.” They continue that, in their “Hightstown State of Mind,” “these streets will make you feel can do and Rise will inspire you.” The video was captured by a local student, and dynamic editing was done by Three Summers Creative of Annandale, New Jersey.

“Support of the Rise Pantry represents a long term investment in the families of our community and especially in the lives of our students who dream of, and work to create, a better world for all of us,” concludes Koppel. “We are looking for a little extra help in lifting our neighbors in need during this unexpected and trying time.”

Check out full article on Neighbors of East Windsor, August 2020

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