While the Westfield Area YMCA Devilfish had to abruptly end their season prior to several Championship meets due to COVID-19, the swimmers are still coming together to help those around them.
Spearheaded by Sophomore Sarah Kennedy, a long time Devilfish swim team member, 200 care packages were recently delivered to front-line healthcare teams at the Trinitas Regional Medical Center Emergency Room, Overlook Medical Care Center Intensive Care Unit, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Intensive Care Unit, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Urgent Care Center.
“With our parents both working at a hospital they are required to have a mask on at all times throughout the day,” Kennedy said. “One day they came home and their lips were chapped and their hands were dry and in pain. My sister and I decided that we wanted to help fix this problem, not just for our parents, but for all of the healthcare workers in the area.
“My sister and I came up with the idea of care packages so that the healthcare workers can work without their lips being chapped, their hands all dried, or their feet being sore.”
With this in mind, she reached out to the Devilfish swim team to make it happen.
Kennedy asked for donations of chapstick, hair ties, travel sized lotion, headbands and comfortable socks. Donations were placed in a bin outside the house, and once collected, the sisters made individual care packages for the health care workers.
The girls reached out to Dr. John D’Angelo, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Trinitas, who is a neighbor of theirs and Clelia Biamonti, Executive Director of the Overlook Foundation to donate the care packages. The remainder were taken to Memorial Sloan Kettering by Janine and Matthew Kennedy who both work there.
Thank you to Sarah Kennedy for organizing this initiative and to all the Devilfish families and Westfield community members for participating! The Devilfish would also like to thank all the health care and essential workers who are helping every day.