By Ashley Brewer | Contributor at Spotlight
April 8th, 2020
In times of crisis, peoples’ true colors really show. Those with a compassionate, kind heart tend to stand out even more during these moments and these teens certainly fall into that category.
Since many schools will now be closed throughout the remainder of the academic year, kids might find themselves glued to the TV or their phones. Other teens, however, are using this time to do good in their community and make a difference in the world.
Drew and Heather Paglia recently launched a GoFundMe page to help support first responders, healthcare workers, and local businesses all at the same time.
The siblings from Millstone, New Jersey are using the money that they raise to buy gift cards from local businesses and restaurants. Then, they donate those gift cards to all the “Heroes on the Front Lines,” the essential workers that are working tirelessly to save lives during the health crisis.
In addition to giving gift cards to front-line workers, the teens are also making sure that the seniors in the community are taken care of as well. Many of the seniors are self-isolating and don’t want to go out in fear of catching the virus.
Heather and Drew have partnered with some of their favorite local restaurants to buy both gift cards and food. They’re also working with nearby health facilities to distribute the meals to those in need.
Centrastate is the closest hospital to Millstone. After hearing about their cause, they requested donations of gift cards to newly released patients, so they wouldn’t feel or have the need to leave their home.
The GoFundMe page quickly raised over $2,500, so Drew and Heather decided they wanted to take things to the next level.
The teen siblings started 5Help.org, a place where they can gather ideas from neighbors, communities, and volunteers to help with food and gift card drop-offs. It is also another platform for them to raise money for their incredible, selfless cause.
Their website reads:
“We will be using 100% of the profits to buy food and gift cards from small businesses to distribute and deliver to our heroes on the front lines and senior citizens in need!
Let’s make sure our favorite small businesses will be around when COVID-19 is wiped out.
Show your support and gratitude to our HEROES and make a DIFFERENCE!”
Drew, Heather, and the 5Help team are encouraging schools, colleges, clubs, and individuals to donate just $5 the fundraising cause. In doing so, they hope that they can help local businesses stay afloat during these hard times.
Now, with even bigger goals in mind, the Paglia siblings have increased their GoFundMe goal to $20,000 – an amount that could help give back to the community and front-line workers in a big way.
If you’d like to donate to this incredible cause, there are multiple ways you can do so. You can donate via Venmo, PayPal, or through the GoFundMe page. Visit the 5Help website for more details and scannable QR codes and usernames to donate.
This is what it looks like when people help people. There are ways that we can all get through this and come out even stronger and tight-knit than ever before. Times are tough, but we got this. Let these incredible teens be an inspiration to you.