Donation from LIVE with Kelly and Ryan helps healthcare heroes
When a producer from LIVE with Kelly and Ryan reached out to Erinn Powers on Facebook, she thought it was a hoax. She had been taking pictures of families who were stuck at home because of the coronavirus outbreak and asking them to donate to a charity of their choice, rather than paying her for the pictures. Powers never thought this project would catch the attention of a national TV show. She’s glad the producer’s message was real, because the show surprised her by donating thousands of dollars to charities of her choice, including Beverly Hospital.
Powers, who lives in Beverly, saw this movement, called, “The Front Steps Project” spreading on social media and she wanted to be a part of it. She runs Erinn Kiley Photography (Kiley is her middle name) on nights and weekends. So at the height of the pandemic, after working her day job as an administrative assistant at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, she would go to people’s houses, stand six feet or more away, and take pictures of families on their front steps. Since late March, Powers has photographed 359 families and raised $39,473.
“I think it’s really important for families to go back and look at their photos to say, ‘We stuck together, we smiled and we got through this,’” Powers said. “This is a safe way for them to donate to a cause that they’re passionate about and see that it’s helping others in need.” Several of the families chose to donate to Beverly Hospital’s Healthcare Heroes Emergency Response Fund.
When LIVE interviewed Powers in May, hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest made a toast to Powers for helping raise money for nonprofits in need during the pandemic. They gave her $5,000 to divide amongst charities of her choice, $1,000 of which went to Beverly Hospital’s Healthcare Heroes Fund. This fund, established at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, pays for supplies and other support for frontline caregivers.
“All of us at Beverly Hospital are so grateful for the community’s support throughout the pandemic,” said Rebecca Imperiali, vice president of philanthropy for Beverly and Addison Gilbert hospitals. “Erinn is proof you don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to make a difference for our patients.”
“I’m so thankful to hear the money will help the staff and everybody there,” Powers said.