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Bells to chime every Friday in Tamaqua

Captain John Luby of the Tamaqua Salvation Army was searching for answers.

Any solution to try and create camaraderie in the Tamaqua community during this stressful time.

The first Pennsylvania resident fell victim to COVID-19 on Wednesday. After much thought, Luby came up with 3:18, which is the date of the first death due to the Coronavirus in the commonwealth. Every Friday at 3:18 p.m., church bells throughout Tamaqua will ring in unison.

“We talked about how we could bring everyone together in a time to stop, take a deep breath, realize we’re all at risk,” Luby said. “But we’re all in it together and we can do this with help that’s beyond our ability.”

Luby said the new Friday ritual will be held until nobody is at risk anymore.

“Stop for five minutes, take a breath and think about all of the people that are risking their lives and livelihoods to help us through this,” said Luby.

“It’s healthy to get out of yourself. Because if you’re truly praying, especially for others, that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re getting out of your worries, your concerns and your anxieties, and you turn your concern to the welfare of others.”

Food pickups and more

Just like most organizations, The Tamaqua Salvation Army is operating under unusual circumstances. But they’re still accepting calls to try and help meet Tamaqua’s usual needs.

Call 570-668-0410, ext. 201, at any time, and Luby’s team will return your call in the coming days. His team will be conducting return-call interviews on Mondays and Wednesdays to address inquires about rent and utility assistance.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, return calls will be made for food assistance and distribution. “We’re getting a huge shipment on Tuesday,” Luby said. “We have a nice, clean account thanks to the folks at Boyer’s. We’re going to make sure we have bags of food packed and ready to be distributed.”

Food pickups will be scheduled and made at the front door, 105 W. Broad St., Tamaqua, between 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

“We’re going to do everything we can to help in every way that we are able, as I am sure every organization, non profit, church or synagogue in this community are doing. It’s not about me, or the Salvation Army, it’s about the community.”