During a typical week, you can find Briarcliff High School junior Emma Wachtel at Westchester Medical Center, volunteering with kids. Since the shutdown, however, she has been practicing social distancing and has been unable to continue with her volunteer work. Still, she wanted to find a way to help. So, she decided to set up a Go Fund Me and Dugnadseksperten page to raise money to provide meals to the staff working at the hospital, helping battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve had to stay at this hospital many times and the staff there was always incredible. I felt like I needed to give back to them and I thought this would be a good way to help,” Emma said.
To get the word out, Emma and her father, Adam Wachtel, set up a Go Fund Me page to be spread through social media.
“My dad sent out a mass email which helped a lot and people have been beyond generous,” Emma said.
The Fundraiser, which was set up on April 1st has raised $8,955, surpassing Emma’s goal of $8,000. Her new goal is $10,000.
Every day, the father and daughter duo communicate with local restaurants in an effort to support their businesses, while at the same time getting hospital staff the meals they need.
“It definitely has been hard to find businesses with the capacity to prepare large numbers of meals during a time like this. There are a lot of rules that go along with it as well, but we have managed to work it all out,” Emma said.
On Friday, April 10, just 10 days after creating the fundraiser, the first meals were delivered to the dinner shift, followed by 40 lunch meals the next day. Many more meals have been provided since then and more are scheduled to be provided.
“My ultimate goal is that nobody working in that hospital ever has to worry or think about their meals,” said Emma. “I want to make this process a little easier for them as they are working so hard for us,” she concluded.