In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, local teenagers Audrey Feldman and Jenna Smalley are doing their part to provide relief to those without a home. In partnership with the Friendship Service Center, the Berlin High School seniors dedicated their April break to collecting hygiene products, canned goods, coats, blankets, books and homemade masks to help those in need.
Feldman, who has led multiple service projects with the Friendship Service Center, which is located in New Britain, stated in an e-mail: “For millions across the country, this pandemic entails several weeks of isolation, but not much more. Most people have not contracted the virus and only experience minor inconveniences. However, populations such as the homeless are especially vulnerable due to preexisting conditions and the lack of safe food, warm clothes and a bed to sleep in.”
Feldman continued: “One shelter near me, the Friendship Center, is in this predicament. I have worked with this shelter in the past through collections of hygiene products and the making of blankets. However, this time is different. This time there are peoples’ lives on the line, because the contraction of the coronavirus in this environment would be an absolute tragedy.”
Feldman and Smalley developed a website and collaborated with local school officials to raise awareness of their efforts. In addition, the two have connected with local businesses to enlist support through donations.
Smalley noted, “We might not be able to end this pandemic, but we can ease the suffering of those who need our help the most.”
Through Friday, April 24, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., donation boxes will be located outside of Berlin High School for the public to donate items.
Monetary donations can be made through Venmo and Paypal: @audreysfeldman and paypal.me/audreysfeldman.
For more information on this effort, vist thefriendshipcenterproject.weebly.com.
-- Jack Carroll is a senior at Berlin High School.