NEW JERSEY - Two women launched a Facebook page to help casino workers out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On a breezy morning down the shore, Kristina Rubenstine of Margate and Katherine Francis of Ventnor described a video of miles of casino workers who just weeks ago were gainfully employed but were not having to wait in line for food donations.
“Right now, that’s a huge part of our population that’s not getting the assistance that they need. You’re thinking unemployment will kick in and everybody will be ok but that video showed us how great the need is," Katherine Francis said.
The lines were shocking but these two women have also seen first hand what the empty boardwalks and closed casinos mean for families.
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“The casinos hit hard and close to home for us. I was employed by Caesars Entertainment for over eight years," Francis said.
Rubenstine added, "My husband is a casino worker, has not worked since March 13th and cannot get his unemployment."
So for many reasons, this video impacted them but they decided not to just shake their heads in disgust, they wanted to step up.
Within 24 hours of back and forth messaging, the pair launched their Facebook page, Casino Family Food Giving Tree, a site where casino families in need let them know privately what they needed and were then paired with other families who are in positions to be able to help.
Taking a look at the page, over 300 different families who got what they need in the form of donations or sending groceries and gift cards because they were put together with others who cared. Times are still hard and the requests keep coming.
So Rubenstine and Francis appreciate being nominated as heroes, but they mostly hope that this will inspire more of us to support their giving tree. Exactly like heroes would — for goodness sake.
We want to hear from you. Tell us about a hero you know using the hashtag #FOX29Heroes or #ForGoodnesSake.
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