Back in March, Justin Miskowski and James Runkle were each trying to figure out this new stay-at-home reality. They juggled the new demands of managing their businesses without seeing clients in person, and rearranged other aspects of their lives as well. As time went on, they each realized that they wanted to do more, and they wanted to do it in a way that felt true to their talents and interests.
The result is HealHoboken.com, a website developed from their own questions and concerns for the needs people had in their own neighborhoods. They wanted the site to serve as an information hub and source of inspiration for the community they call home as daily life continues to shift and evolve.
In a sense, it started with a sketch. Justin found himself torn between enjoying the time at home with his family and wanting to do something to help. He wasn’t on the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis, but as Owner and Creative Director of Miskowski Design (aka Hoboken Made), he sought a way to put his creative skills to work instead, and started sketching. After playing with different colors and images, what resulted was a symbol that he felt could be used to show his support for healthcare and essential workers, local businesses and his community. He began to share it, which is where James came in.
James has lived in Hoboken for twenty years, and opened Drummond St. Strategy here ten years ago. As life became more restrictive this spring, James saw his fellow small businesses start to close their doors, both physically and digitally. He did what he could to help the community: ordering takeout from local favorites like Leo’s Grandevous, Dark Side of the Moo and Barbés…or contributing to the Hoboken Homeless Shelter and Hoboken Food Pantry.
But even “doing what he could” didn’t feel like enough, until he had the conversation with Justin that evolved into this project. Initially they concentrated on finding organizations in Hoboken that could use the logo for different charitable uses, but after brainstorming how this logo could be utilized by other organizations, James realized he could create a communications strategy to amplify important information to those who need it most, and he wanted to run with the idea.
With that, Justin and James brought together a trusted group of collaborators, donating services from copywriting to web development, and the site became reality, but the landscape has changed. So much has happened since March, and it became clear that HealHoboken.com could broaden its scope–to reach far beyond its original intent and become a source of healing for all aspects of the community.
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The @HobokenAlliance launched #GoBoken, a city-wide, summer-long themed initiative encouraging Mile Square residents to shop local and support Hoboken businesses. This campaign launches today, celebrating the reopening of many local businesses and expanded outdoor dining options. We are so excited for Hoboken residents to fill the streets (safely) again, and shop/dine/play at your favorite Hoboken establishments.
Hoboken thrives thanks to the energy and dedication of its residents. 2020 will be no different. HealHoboken.com began as a way to celebrate the people doing the difficult and dangerous work to recover from this pandemic while also offering ways to support essential workers, and keep this mile-square city healthy, together.
We’re all overwhelmed with information lately, and we all have questions and a desire to pitch in where we can. HealHoboken.com aims to be a source of information intended to help this community, and it requires that same community to help inform each other about all the good ideas and great work people are doing. They want your help–they want you to pitch in. Know of a fundraiser? A food drive? A group in need of assistance? Let them know. Fill out the contact form and they’ll add it to the site. Help make HealHoboken.com the prime source of how we keep each other safe and healthy together.