What started out as a simple request on social media has grown into an overwhelming response. Since March, Stella Shank, the director of special projects at Regency Assisted Living in Glen Cove, has watched as COVID-19 has taken a devasting toll on the facility’s seniors. For nine months, they have been unable to have visitors, feeling cut off from family and friends. “It’s been beyond hard, bringing us to tears,” Mrs. Shank said.
To help combat those feelings of loneliness, she posted her story to Facebook, enlisting the help of North Babylon School District mother of three, Dana Miller. Her sons — James, a sophomore at North Babylon High School, Ryan an eighth grader and Jack a sixth grader at Robert Moses Middle School — quickly got to work making heartwarming cards for the facility’s seniors.
In a week, the small request turned into teachers at William E. DeLuca Jr. Elementary School jumping on the opportunity to bring some cheer to seniors. Cards turned into cookies, treat bags, stuffed animals and holiday ornaments as well, creating the “North Babylon Polar Express Movement.”
Mrs. Shank, whose own children, Gabriella and Jonathan, graduated from DeLuca, said, “Even though we are 40 miles apart, my seniors turned into everyone’s grandparents.”
To thank students for their generous gifts, Mrs. Shank shared their story with the MLB New York Mets, who sent 500 “NEW YORK TOUGH” masks for DeLuca’s students and teachers.
“This gesture is beyond special and giving a true meaning to the season of giving,” Mrs. Shank said. “DeLuca continues to create caring and thoughtful little humans that one day will influence this world.”
- Masks1-2: Major League Baseball’s New York Mets sent 500 “NEW YORK TOUGH” masks to William E. DeLuca Jr. Elementary School students and teachers.
- Regency1-3: Seniors at Regency Assisted Living in Glen Cove received holiday cards from students at William E. DeLuca Jr. Elementary School.
Photos courtesy of the North Babylon Union Free School District