This week’s featured Community Member Spotlight is no stranger to helping others within their community, Center Moriches resident Sandy Mecca.
Sandy started out volunteering at Meals on Wheels delivering food to the less fortunate for over eight months.
When her children began attending Clayton Huey Elementary School, Sandy joined the PTA. As a PTA member, Sandy volunteered her time helping out the children and teachers within the school. She felt helping the teachers in the classroom was rewarding and it teaches students to help others in the community.
As a member of the Center Moriches Parent Teacher Association, Sandy initiated and started the successful “Giving Bag” which started out as a small idea and grew successful overnight. The fundraiser was initiated for Random Acts of Kindness week. During winter recess break last month, students and community volunteers who attended the packaging of the “Giving Bag” assembly, helped fill over 410 Giving Bags with some being distributed right here in our community. Last year, Sandy delivered 60 Giving Bags to the Meals on Wheels program recipients, which was provided with the Meals on Wheels package.
Generous items that were donated this year by students and community members were shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, hats, gloves, tissues, baby wipes, protein/granola bars, soap, deodorant and chapsticks.
Sandy said, “We ask that each grade within the Center Moriches School District donate different items so that we can fill the bags with as many items as possible. We have students that donate generously and then give their time to help make the bags up. High School students who volunteered to pack these Giving Bags and volunteered their time all received CSIP points for graduation. 40 CSIP points in total is required in order to graduate. Many Giving Bags were donated to the Saint John’s Outreach and the Presbyterian Outreach.”
The Giving Bag program is now in their fourth year and will continue to be successful and grow as a PTA program in helping others who are struggling.
Sandy stated, “The ‘Giving Bag’ fundraiser would not be possible without the generosity of the people of Center Moriches. I am so proud to be part of this wonderful town! This fundraiser is so extremely rewarding to myself, my family, our school and all involved! I look forward to organizing it for many years to come.”
Sandy Mecca is married to her husband Ken and have two children in the school district. Sandy exclaims, “My husband never takes any credit for his part in this, but I couldn’t do it without him. He makes the flyers, the banners, and is my “muscle” when it comes to lifting and transporting all the bags of donations.”