When the novel coronavirus COVID-19 hit New Jersey earlier this year, rising Pingry School juniors Kristin Osika of Mendham and Andrew Wong of Stirling, and rising seniors Eva Schiller of Tewksbury and Noah Bergam of Short Hills were concerned about the limited availability of personal protective equipment.
With the new health and economic challenges brought about by the pandemic, many community members would struggle financially and may not have access to masks, gloves and hand sanitizers, and the four students knew that this issue would not would only exacerbate the months to come. .
Rather than sit back and watch as spectators, they took action, created a plan to provide these necessities to the community, and created a new organization: Care-Full.
Care-Full creates and distributes care packages to underserved and sensitive populations in the central and southern regions of the state. These care kits consist of a 30ml bottle of hand sanitizer, three individually wrapped face masks, a pair of disposable gloves and an originally designed pamphlet on how to stay safe during the pandemic. These resources are essential for those who cannot acquire them to ensure their health and safety during these times.
In the past two weeks alone, the group has already delivered more than 200 care packages to local organizations, including 100 to the Interfaith Food Pantry in Morris Plains and 100 to Nourish NJ in Morristown. The students chose these groups because they serve the populations most in need of protective resources.
Interfaith distributes them at their Farmer’s Market, ensuring everyone can safely access fresh, local produce, and Nourish NJ will provide them to seniors recovering from COVID who are homeless or would put children at risk. others in their current housing situation.
Also, going to work or shopping for food can be stressful for those who are not properly protected against the novel coronavirus. By providing PPE in these care packages, they ensure that everyone – regardless of socio-economic status, risk factors or age – can visit public places and go out without difficulty or fear.
On Thursday, Osika said the initiative was originally Wong’s idea, “and he got the rest of us on board.”
Schiller and Bergam, she said, previously worked with him on the Pingry Record, which is billed as “the nation’s oldest day school magazine,” while she co-founded the Global with him. Citizen Initiative in Pingry.
“Andrew spearheaded the creation of a physical care package while I immersed myself in communications media coverage,” she said.
She said Care-Full “is meaningful to us and to the recipients of our care packages. We are actively making a difference and ensuring health, safety and well-being during these challenging times.”
Additionally, she said, “Care-Full has been an opportunity to develop my communication, collaboration and leadership skills, in the context of an initiative that is making a positive difference.
“Hopefully we can gain community support and that our organization can continue to provide care packages for as long as needed.”
The group is now seeking donations to help them continue their mission. To donate, visit care-full.org or follow the links found on the Care-Full Facebook pages www.facebook.com/Care-Full-104349841329786/ and Instagram (@we_are_carefull).
For more information, email [email protected]
Additionally, physical donations of single-use gloves and hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) can be dropped off in the box labeled Care-Full in front of Grace Lutheran Church in Mendham.