Rachel Goodman’s Fight to Help Feed Local Frontline Workers


As socially distanced as we may be, there are still a variety of ways to help those in need as well as show appreciation to frontline workers.

And right here in Western Mass., leader of the Community Service Club, senior Rachel Goodman, has started a fundraiser called “Burgers and Beyond for Baystate.”

Rachel invites students, faculty, parents, and anyone willing to support the cause to get involved. Restaurants all over the world are experiencing a fall in customers; Rachel believes her fundraiser is “a perfect way to thank our frontline workers and support local restaurants from far away that we love.”

Due to the student body’s frequent takeout orders from local restaurants in Easthampton, Rachel told The Willistonian that this particular fundraiser would be ideal.“My mom started the fundraiser in my hometown [Longmeadow, Mass.,] and I thought that Williston would love to help too.”

To comply with Covid-19 food service delivery laws, all the proceeds from Rachel’s charity went to a Subway owned by a Williston alumni in Holyoke, Mass.

Rachel explained the entire process of getting the food to Baystate Medical Center.

“I gave the donations to Subway and they made boxed lunches for the workers,” she explained. “Subway drove the boxes to the hospital where someone was there to come get the boxes from the car and bring them to the right department.”

Rachel’s goal was to raise $1,000; as of May 12, the contributions from the Williston community totaled $650, enough to feed more than 100 frontline workers.

Rachel’s motivation in giving back to frontline workers during these unprecedented times is “no brainer,” she said.

“Everyone does their part in the world in someway, and I hope when it is my turn to do my part, people will support me in a similar way,” she said. “It’s like the kindness boomerang.”

Katherine Garrity, Community Service Advisor, has also challenged the community to a project: to write 200 letters to local nursing homes.

In an all-school email on May 8, Garrity stated the aim of this project and explained that “these residents are our elderly neighbors who aren’t permitted visitors right now.”

These letters could “brighten” their day, so for students to easily send the letters there are two options.

The first option is more convenient to those living afar. This option allows you to type and email directly to Garrity. The other option is “snail mail,” to address the handwritten letters to Garrity for her to deliver to nursing homes.

“I think the older generation thinks this is a lost skill, and I’m hoping they’re wrong,” Garrity said. “I think it shows a bit more time taken and it’s really appreciated.”

As the Community Service Advisor, Garrity organizes numerous events throughout the year, including making and donating sandwiches to local food banks, organizing the blood drive, and coordinating the service portion of the Winter Warmer concert.
Garrity gave “full credit” to Zach Landon ’22 from Longmeadow, Mass., in making this letter-writing service project come to fruition.

All the cheerful letters written by the Williston community are going to various nursing homes in the local area: Saint Luke’s Home, Springfield, 50 Lathrop Retirement Community, Easthampton, and three places in East Longmeadow.

It is an odd, unprecedented time we’re living through, and Garrity expounded on how everyone is fighting through each day of struggle.

“I think there are a LOT of people out there that are struggling more than we are, financially, health wise, losing jobs, mental health, etc,” Garrity said in an email.

Small acts of kindness, such as writing personal letters can not only cheer the person on the receiving end, but also benefit the person writing the letter.

“It’s actually emotionally really helpful for individuals to help others,” she explained. “Writing or talking to someone else to help them, no matter who it is, benefits you.”