Northport High School’s Students for 60,000 have found that their mission to help those in need has been ever more prevalent during the coronavirus pandemic. While the needs that students have been accustomed to addressing has changed drastically, the ever-resilient members have adapted and overcome to provide necessities to essential workers and food pantries across Long Island.
"We find ourselves in difficult times. Never, has the SF60K mission: "Helping those in need" been more urgent,” club adviser Darryl St. George said. “Just as we were ramping up preparations for our April service trip to Kermit, West Virginia, the country began to respond to the growing outbreak of the virus.”
He said that it became abundantly clear that the team’s trip, at the very least would be postponed this year and, as students transitioned to online instruction, SF60K’s members remained undeterred in the effort to fulfill their mission. They moved quickly to assist William Slagle, Emily Kovaks, Sam Rosenfeld-McMahon and the Key Club to transport food from the Northport High School food pantry to the food pantry at Saint Anthony's of Padua's Outreach Center in East Northport.
Additionally, students worked alongside Superintendent of Schools Robert Banzer, board of education trustee Thomas Loughran, Mrs. Kovaks and Northport High School Principal Daniel Danbusky.
Following that endeavor, SF60K members began sending funds to its ongoing projects in Kenya, Nicaragua and West Virginia, and began organizing individual food drives for the food pantry at St. Hughes in Huntington Station.
Under the leadership of SF60K adviser Ms. Carlson, students also executed “Operation Easter Egg,” during which Northport students put together Easter baskets for 32 underprivileged children enrolled in the A.B.L.E. Families after-school program in West Virginia.
This week, students will be planning a virtual forum between the students of Tug Valley High School in West Virginia and Northport High School students for some time in mid-May. Stay tuned for more information on that project.
“During this time, it can seem like we are all alone, but it is the example set forth by the Students for 60,000 and their unwavering commitment to helping those in need, even as they struggle with their own needs that we are reminded that people care and in that we recognize we are not alone,” Mr. St. George said. “It is through the students’ altruism that we should take heart and have faith that this too shall pass, and we will come out of this kinder, stronger and better."