• Last modified 624 days ago (Dec. 2, 2020)


Peabody charity featured on NBC

Staff writer

The audio was touch-and-go, but the experience of being interviewed by the “Today” show was still very exciting, Peabody Community Foundation director Becky Nickel said.

Having your town recognized nationally is stunning, she said.

“I know, right. It’s crazy cool,” she said of the spot that aired at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Nickel was shot outside with just a field behind her. The host, Mario Armstrong, was interested in what communities were doing to keep safe during COVID-19.

Peabody’s Community Foundation responded to the pandemic by celebrating a month’s worth of activities designed to spread kindness and goodwill.

Citizens wrote thank-you notes to people who made the city a good place and donated to charity.

Nickel developed the little blue truck for the campaign, which caught the attention of Giving Tuesday’s national leadership and led to the “Today” show.

“Armstrong was a ball of energy and enthusiasm,” Nickel said of the experience.

Peabody’s response to the campaign this November has also been amazing, Nickel said.

“We are about a third of a way toward our match (of $6,000),” she said.

“And I’ve made three deliveries to the food bank … there’s been so much food at our collection points that I’ve had to keep shuttling over there.”

The foundation’s fifth-annual Winterfest event was canceled, but it still awarded $1,125 to three USD 398 Peabody-Burns teachers grants for projects that included an outdoor lab, rhythm bucket band and a graphic design program.

The foundation had socially distanced fun during the presentation of the grants.

“We pulled the little blue truck on fishing line in front of the teachers when we awarded them their grants,” she said. “The grants were in the back of the truck.”

The foundation also created a pass-through fund earlier this year to help the community with COVID-19 response and has given out $4,000 so far.

The final Giving Tuesday theme #EndHunger was a donation drive for the local food bank because demand there has nearly doubled, she said.

Peabody Elementary School, Vintage Bank, and Peabody Market all were drop-off points.

“I will probably take a couple of flats and probably three carloads over there,” she said.

The people who regularly support their community make Peabody special, she said.

“It’s just so moving,” Nickel said. “I’ve been in this role for five years and it always just amazes me.”

Last modified Dec. 2, 2020