A ‘Vital’ message to shut-ins right now – ‘WE CARE’

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By Cindy Zomar, Contributing Writer

A ‘Vital’ message to shut-ins right now – ‘WE CARE’
Elaine McDonald and Mark Vital
photo/Cindy Zomar

Marlborough – Some people are content to watch the world go by in a passive manner. Some choose to live and let live. For Marlborough resident Mark Vital, neither of those attitudes would ever cross his mind. From creating a charity to gather and distribute warm Boston team sweatshirts to homeless veterans (see sweats4vets.com), to organizing a note-writing campaign across several communities so that senior citizens feel less lonely right now, Vital continues to think of ways to make people smile or help them through tough times. His latest idea was to coordinate a parade of cars to drive through the parking lots of a few senior housing units to spread a little cheer.

His ‘We Care Parade’ began with the parents of AMSA (Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School) as an idea he floated on the school’s Facebook page. Vital, formerly an English teacher there, is the Community Outreach Manager and coaches track at the school. The idea took flight quickly, so he invited the Marlborough Rotary to join the fun. The parade of vehicles, covered in homemade signs saying “WE CARE” and “THANK YOU,” wound through Marlborough to drive by several group homes, the Branches, Marlborough Hills, the Reservoir, Christopher Heights, the Marlborough Police Department, Marlborough Hospital, Hannaford, and, as a special request, trekked out to The SALMON Health Complex in Westborough.

At each site, health care workers and even some residents came outside to cheer, wave, or cry. Emotions ran high as it became evident that the smallest gesture can make such a difference in someone’s life right now as everyone deals with the COVID-19 scare.

At the end of the day, the event was considered a huge success and as Vital lauged, “That was so much fun I want to do it again!”

There is little doubt that, if not another parade, Vital will come up with another idea to link people together, while apart.

A ‘Vital’ message to shut-ins right now – ‘WE CARE’
Healthcare providers outside the SALMON Health complex in Westborough greet the parade
photo/Bonnie Adams
A ‘Vital’ message to shut-ins right now – ‘WE CARE’
A resident outside the Branches of Marlboro
photo/Dakota Antelman
A ‘Vital’ message to shut-ins right now – ‘WE CARE’
Mark Oram
photo/Cindy Zomar

Video/Dakota Antelman