Members of the Levittown Public Schools community are giving back to workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. From creating and donating masks, to donating food and supplies, Levittown staff members are showing their support and making a difference from their own homes.
Art teacher Rachel Herbert from Gardiners Avenue Elementary School and teaching assistant Patty Coppola from Division Avenue High School have started making masks for those in need. Herbert has already created more than 200 masks and plans to continue doing so until they are no longer needed. Many of the masks have been delivered to nurses and doctors in local hospitals including the Mount Sinai Intensive Care Unit and emergency units at Good Samaritan Hospital, Huntington Hospital, Southside Hospital and St. Francis Hospital. She even sent a dozen masks to an emergency room in Boston, MA. In addition, Herbert has donated masks to workers at the Coronavirus testing site at Jonas Beach, workers at a nursing home in Huntington, essential workers such as mail carriers, custodians and grocery staff, and to those who are immune compromised or elderly.
“This has been such an amazing experience and in light of such horrible times,” said Herbert. “I have seen such a beautiful connection in the Long Island community. Nothing makes me feel better that being able to help others doing what I love.”
Coppola is also taking her talents and putting them towards the greater good. Using her sewing expertise, she has created more than 150 masks and does not plan on stopping anytime soon. These masks have been donated to co-workers, family, friends, healthcare facilities and even workers at a pet hospital. To get others involved, Coppola has left sewing supplies such as machines, fabrics and elastic out for curbside pickup for friends to help and has facilitated FaceTime lessons on how to make a mask using these tools.
“It has been a great experience,” said Coppola. “I am happy to help people and I hope that I am able to protect some from getting the virus.”
Some staff members from Wisdom Lane Middle School have also done their part by donating supplies to help make protective gear for healthcare workers. Dayton T. Brown, Inc., a company of engineers, laboratory and technology specialists, was seeking materials to make shields for masks, specifically plastic. The company developed a mask prototype to protect emergency room staff at Mather Hospital. Wisdom Lane teacher Meghan Olsen reached out to her colleagues to see if they could help. Together, the staff donated packs of overhead projector transparency paper to be used as face shields.
In addition, some Levittown staff members have provided the gift of food to frontline workers as a token of their appreciation. Staff members from Abbey Lane and East Broadway elementary schools raised around $2,000 to purchase dinner for staff at Nassau University Medical Center, and Suzann Duzant, secretary at Lee Road Elementary School, donated trays of food for healthcare workers at Syosset Hospital. The Levittown Public Schools thanks all the essential workers on the frontline of this global pandemic.
Photo courtesy of the Levittown Public Schools