Westfield mother raises more than $10K in a week to fuel the front line with 'FLAG'

(Photo provided)

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WTHR) – A small Facebook group called FLAG — Front Line Support Group — started by two moms in New Jersey is growing into a national effort to support restaurants and front line workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Kristy Murphy of Westfield saw the impact FLAG was having elsewhere and decided to create a site for Hamilton County.

"I was just at that point where I was feeling so helpless and just feeling like I needed to do something. My husband works in health care and my neighbors, my friends and I felt like everyone was out there battling and I just felt like I needed to do something," Murphy said. "I set up a Facebook page, and I asked people to join. I asked them to send it to their friends and asked them to join and to donate if you can."

Murphy recruited friends Amy Hulka, Sharon Phillips and Mona Euler to spread the word and help with deliveries.

Murphy says 100 percent of the proceeds go to the restaurants.

Murphy created the local Facebook page the Thursday before Easter. In three days, 1,000 people donated more than $6,000.

"The overall generosity of this community has been so overwhelming," Murphy said.

Every day, the number of members and donations grows. Within a week, donations exceeded $10,000, and volunteers spent $3,000 at seven restaurants and delivered meals for more than 350 workers at 10 facilities.

"We partnered with the Cunningham Restaurant Group, and we delivered meals to Riverview Hospital in Noblesville and in Westfield," Murphy said. "People are so appreciative and the food's so amazing. So it's actually wonderful to work with the restaurants because they are so appreciative of the business. And since we have such a large group, we're able to really have a larger donation to the restaurants. And then when we bring the meals to the organization, people are so thrilled and so grateful. "

Murphy projects she will deliver 375 meals next week.

So far, the food service businesses impacted include:

The facilities receiving meals so far include:

  • Riverview Noblesville and Westfield
  • IU Health North
  • Saxony and Urgent Care Center
  • IU Health Methodist Hospital
  • Ascension St. Vincent Carmel
  • Neighborhood and Heart Hospitals
  • Bridgewater Nursing Home.

Donations may be made through Venmo at @FLAHC and Paypal at paypal.me/flaghc.

To learn more, visit the Facebook group here.

Murphy's emphasis is Hamilton County and would love to see the effort to "Fuel the Front Line" expand to support other Indiana communities.