WESTFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A high school community service club in Union County has been busier than ever despite the pandemic‘s barriers.
CBS2’s Meg Baker takes a look at their good deeds.READ MORE: New York State To Adopt New CDC Guidelines For Vaccinated People Starting This Wednesday, Cuomo Says
“We’re all working and doing our best to help the people around us, and it’s a good feeling,” said Westfield High School senior Jane Sullivan.
Westfield High School’s Community Service Club was not going to let the pandemic stop them. They got their rakes out for a good cause this fall, raising more than $1,000 for Helping Hands, a local organization that distributes money to community members in need.
“It was just different this year because of COVID. We had to stay socially distant,” said senior Anna Tichenor.
They were looking out for those in isolation.
“We essentially created 60 holiday cards and donated them all to every single senior citizen in Westfield Sunrise Assisted Living Center,” said junior Ashley Talwar.
They conducted a sock and glove drive this winter.
“Knowing that we were able to help someone during the winter, giving them some warmth,” said Alexandra Cicala.READ MORE: Illegal Motorbike Riders Strike Again, This Time Attack 76-Year-Old Man In Inwood Park
One of their favorite activities is the reading buddy program.
“Help little kids learn how to read over Zoom. It’s just something that’s really, really rewarding,” said senior Rachel Simpson.
In past years, they held a big dance marathon. The funds go to Children’s Specialized Hospital.
“They raised over $21,000 for our hospital and for our kids, which is incredible,” said Kayla Pagnani of Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation.
Students are currently taking donations for the Westfield Food Pantry, run by Deacon Keith Gibbons.
“This is where it starts. It starts in volunteer efforts at home, it starts at a young age,” Gibbons said. “Kids find comfort in serving others. Then it kind of feeds itself.”
The club has more than 100 members. Many of the seniors say they plan to pursue philanthropic opportunities in college.MORE NEWS: Human Resources Commissioner Steven Banks Talks To CBS2 About NYC's Plan To Get Homeless Off Subways
Meg Baker contributed to this report.