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The original item was published from 7/1/2020 12:52:34 PM to 8/2/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: July 1, 2020

[ARCHIVED] County Executive Neuhaus presents Goshen’s Sandra Fuentes with July’s Citizen of the Month Award

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Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has recognized Sandra Fuentes as the Citizen of the Month Award winner for the month of July.

Fuentes and her family created the Sunday Blessing Food Pantry during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was inspired by residents affected by COVID-19 and her own battle with the disease in March.

“Sandra is a thoughtful, hard-working woman and her contributions to the community have been extraordinary,” Neuhaus said. “Through her service, she has had a positive impact on her neighbors and County residents and has ambitious plans to continue her work. Sandra is respected and well-liked by the Goshen community and her efforts are a testament to how much she cares.”

Fuentes has owned and operated Bliss Boutique, a women’s clothing and gift store in the Village of Goshen, since January of 2018. She was forced to close the store on March 20th and later was diagnosed with COVID-19. Fuentes’ husband, David, who works in New York City, also contracted the disease.

During Sandra’s battle with COVID-19, which included six days of bed rest with severe symptoms, she began to think about and empathize with residents who also contracted the disease and subsequently lost their jobs. Fuentes also reflected on how grateful she is for everything that she and her family have, and the Sunday Blessing Food Pantry was born. Fuentes, who re-opened Bliss Boutique on June 17th, collects food during the week in her garage at her Goshen home. Each Sunday, her husband, their two daughters, Kelsy, 22, and Vanessa, 23, and other volunteers deliver groceries to those in need.

The Fuentes family has been inspired by generous donations from the community, which have included gift cards, and hope to permanently run Sunday Blessing. Groceries are delivered to a variety of residents and families in need. For more information or to donate, email info@blissboutique.com.

“My mind was racing when I had COVID-19 because I really wanted to help people,” Fuentes said. “People in our community were sick and many were losing their jobs. I thought to myself: ‘How are they surviving this?’ It was heart-wrenching. We just hope these groceries can help them get through a few days and we are honored to help. I’m grateful that County Executive Neuhaus has recognized our efforts and brought awareness to what we are doing.”

Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January of 2017. To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, please email ceoffice@orangecountygov.com or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, N.Y. 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them, and any other pertinent information. Nominees must be from Orange County.

For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or jrodriguez@orangecountygov.com.

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