On Friday, April 10, 2020, Providence Catholic faculty and staff volunteered to host a Drive Thru Food Drive at the high school.
“It was an opportunity for the Providence Catholic community to ‘Do Something Good on Good Friday,’” says Annie Persicketti, Associate Director of Pastoral Care at Providence, who oversaw the food drive. “Our faculty, students, parents and alumni were looking for an opportunity to help in light of the difficulties facing members of our community. This was the result of that care.”
The food drive collected food donations, monetary donations, single-serving packaged snacks for healthcare workers, as well as letters for healthcare workers.
“A student, Mia Paolella, came up with the idea to collect packaged snacks for healthcare workers,” says Rosanne Grigoletti, Technology Director at Providence Catholic and an organizer of the food drive. “It was such a caring idea and so we wanted to support it in any way possible – and our families came through!”
For everyone’s safety, many precautions were taken. “Families put everything into their trunk, and we asked them to wipe it all down prior to arrival. Those dropping off donations stayed in their cars while volunteers with masks and gloves removed the items from the trunk, maintaining social distancing,” says Melissa Sallade, Office Manager at Providence Catholic and another organizer of the drive.
Over 179 vehicles dropped off donations, and the Paolella family will oversee getting all donated snacks to healthcare workers. 9,090 pounds of food were collected, as well as $2,430 in monetary donations and one pickup truck and two cars full of snacks for the healthcare workers.
“As Mr. Rogers once said, he was told by his mother that you should always look for the helpers,” says Fr. John Merkelis, President at Providence Catholic. “Today, I saw so many helpers, from our volunteers to the many, many families who took the time to deliver food for our community. Today was about more than just food – it was about knowing that when times get difficult, we have a world full of people who will go the extra mile to make sure others are safe and loved. I am proud to be a part of such a gracious and giving community.”