#GACares

%23GACares

Cécilia Lux ‘20, Co-Editor-in-Chief

During this impossible time, Greenwich Academy students and teachers have come together to help those in need. The COVID-19 epidemic has come with a new set of challenges and inspired a new set of solutions. Here are just a few ways our community has come together to support those in need during this crisis: 

Ms. Meisler spent five weeks collecting and sending personal protective equipment (PPE) to doctors, nurses, and PAs working with COVID-19 patients. It was Ms. Meisler’s sister, a doctor in her final year of OBGYN residency at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai West hospital, who inspired her to help. Upon learning of the shortages her sister’s colleagues were experiencing, Ms. Meisler found a way to make an impact. In her own words, “It broke my heart to think of hospital staff being asked to reuse paper masks or working without any PPE”. 

Ms. Meisler turned to the GA community asking for help. Everyone pitched in, including teachers from all three divisions and the Cowan Center! In total, they collected over 40 N95 masks, 100 surgical and dust masks, boxes of gloves, all of the school’s science goggles (approximately 40), and about 20 other items of protective eyewear. The supplies were sent straight to medical personnel at Mount Sinai West, Columbia Hospital, and NY-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Hospital. Ms. Meisler is “so moved by the generosity of our community”!

Ms. Meisler says, “One group I was able to donate to repeatedly was the Physicians Assistants at the COVID unit at Weill Cornell. The N95s and science goggles especially helped to fill a gap while they waited for gear.  I love to think of GA’s goggles, gloves, and masks circulating the city hospitals. It was gratifying to hear that many of our goggles fit PAs who otherwise had only large-sized goggles… GA was also lucky enough to have a large donation from Rachel Bock, LS teacher, who was able to order several boxes of PPE directly from China. Those were donated to Stamford Hospital and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.”

In total, Ms. Meisler sent out twelve care packages filled with medical supplies, as well as snacks and treats as a little surprise to brighten the recipients’ day! Thank you so much, Ms. Meisler, for organizing this incredible initiative!

Demand from soup kitchens has increased exponentially due to the rising unemployment rate. Our very own Chef Anthony found a way to help by delivering two batches of food to the Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport. When asked what inspired him to help in this way, Chef Anthony answered, “What inspired me to do what we should do? My parents who had nothing were always giving to others. In fact, my dad told me if you think you have a problem because you have a hole in your shoe, look down at the next person who has a toe missing. I thank God for the generosity of Greenwich Academy who allowed me to give to people in need.” Thank you so much, Chef Anthony, for your endless generosity! We all miss your cooking very much!  

Kathryn Stack, a GA alum and current medical student at Columbia, connected GA with the 92nd St Y in Manhattan which is coordinating an effort to collect and assemble 3D-printed face shield parts. Ms. Riley, who runs the Engineering and Design Lab, has set up a make-shift lab in her garage using many of GA’s 3D printers so that she can make visors for the face shields. So far, she’s sent off over 200! Ms. Riley says, “It’s great to know that while the lab is closed on campus, the capabilities of our EDL can be used to help our health care workers during the pandemic”! Thank you so much for all your hard work, Ms. Riley! 

Ms. Megan Ormond, GA’s costume coordinator,  along with Eloise Osman ‘22, put together 140 mask kits which yielded over 970 total masks! They worked tirelessly cutting fabric, and elastics, as well as labeling all of the kits. The corresponding masks were donated to many organizations throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties which will ensure they are distributed to those in need. Ms. Megan says, “I am so proud to be part of a project that can help keep people safe during these crazy times!” Thank you so much, Ms. Megan and Eloise for all of your incredible work!

In the words of Ms. Blunden, “The GACares Mask Project mobilized our school community in order to reach out to the broader communities around us… The response from GA alumni, families, and faculty was immediate and massive. Thank you to everyone who participated and supported this effort!”

GA students have also taken the initiative in finding ways to make a difference. Seniors Bella Subramaniam and Heidi Jacobson walked an entire marathon, 26.2 miles,  and raised $5,850 for the Greenwich Hospital COVID-19 Support Fund.

Of the experience, Bella writes, “During the marathon, there were times when our bodies were aching but we just thought of the health care workers on the front lines and the money we were raising to support them! Our pain was nothing compared to the challenges they face every day.

All in all, the fresh air was quite enjoyable, and walking by some of our favorite places was very nostalgic. Seeing Greenwich on foot gave us a new sense of appreciation for the town. Walking through usually busy areas that were practically deserted, such as Greenwich Avenue and the Post Road, were an eerie reminder of the severity of this issue. 

Something that really inspired me along the way was knowing that we were doing this for a reason! We knew that the money we were raising, and the support behind us, all came from a community of people who wanted to help Greenwich Hospital and every step we took brought us closer to this goal!”

Thank you so much to all of those helping in the fight against COVID-19! We love and appreciate you!