Lend a Helping Hand

Emily Jedell, Life Editor

As the weather grows colder, our hearts grow warmer. Two of our very own students, Ramapo juniors Ella Fried and Gabby Teitel, are pleased to have announced the creation of their new organization Helping Hands.  

Last spring, the girls knew that they wanted to start something to make a difference in this world because, at the end of the day, we high schoolers are the future of this country. Helping Hands’ goal is to collect gift and homemade card donations to bring smiles to children with cancer in Valley Hospital. “Knowing that there are children suffering from serious illnesses, we knew we wanted to help people,” Fried says. “We wanted to make it specific to children because we feel so lucky and blessed that we are healthy and that we can enjoy school and different activities.” The girls wanted to give their peers an opportunity to give back. 

In case you were considering dropping off a donation, try to get together some “coloring books, crayons, art supplies, toys, headbands, toy cars, lip balm, nail polish, sports equipment… and more!” Teitel says. Sorting through old things not only allows you to freshen up your living space, but you can also put a smile on a child’s face, so why not donate? The cards are just as important as the gifts. Having a personalized letter with a wonderful message and designs can make someone’s day. The girls like to combine the gifts with the cards to put together packages called “happy bags.” 

The last donations were due by October 25th, so make sure to drop off your contributions before then. However, the kindness doesn’t end there. Now that the first donation process has passed, the two are aiming to “expand their organization and help others even further,” says Fried, so this won’t be the last you will see of Helping Hands.
Volunteering comes in all different forms, and if you manage to just make one person smile, then you have done a job well done. Being a part of the magic of Helping Hands means that you are a hero. “Almost 70 people signed up to help!” Teitel exclaims. “We’ve gotten dozens of people to drop off donations in just the first 2 weeks! It means so much to us to see that our community supports us and wants to care for those in need.”
Lend a helping hand and be part of something special because, as the girls put it, they “need all hands on deck to complete this.”

Teitel, Gabby, and Fried, Ella. E-mail interview with the author. 6 Oct.