Share This Page

Gateway community helps those affected by Superstorm Sandy

| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 8:47 a.m.
Among the local kids helping New Jersey kids with donations of school supplies were, in front from left, Ian Burkhardt Nagy, Anthony Payne, Aanish Cheekhala, Meghan Haggerty, Avery Ward, Bryona Jackson and Cassi Steplen. In back are Joumana Alshimari, John Laufer, Emma Denne, Jordan Jennings, Jason Chen, Cahlil Cuttler Glaze, Naomi Frazier, Jaydon Hunkele and Alex Meyers.

Two retired teachers helped make a difference after they saw the damage that Superstorm Sandy inflicted on the East Coast.

Organized by Jean Connors and Karen Jedinak, the Kids Helping Kids project provided school supplies for children in storm-ravaged Hoboken, N.J. Book bags were filled with supplies that students and parents from Gateway School District had donated.

The Monroeville Rotary donated 50 book bags, and, all told, the project packed more than 400 backpacks with packets of paper, pens, markers, crayons, glue sticks, erasers, gloves and scarves, as well as a personal note from students that offered words of encouragement and caring, Connors said.

Money that was raised paid for gasoline and the rental of a van that Connors and Jedinak drove 350 miles to deliver the supplies.

Connors said they were warmly welcomed by the staff at Thomas G. Connors School, a primary school that suffered major damage from the late-October hurricane. The school still didn't have a usable cafeteria when Conners and Jedinak visited Nov. 28.

“They were so gracious,” she said.

The notes that Gateway students wrote were a big hit, and the students in Hoboken plan to write back, Connors said.

Stefanee Wolfsie, a social worker and counselor at Thomas Connors, said the students were grateful and excited about the visit.

“The kids all talked about how lucky they were that they received these items, and by the following day, we could see all of the students wearing their new gloves and scarves as well as their backpacks,” she said.

Connors used to teach fourth grade at Ramsey Elementary School in Monroeville. Jedinak taught fifth and sixth grades at St. Bartholomew School in Penn Hills.

“To me it was a great teaching moment. You could teach the children about science and why there are hurricanes,” but the most important thing she could teach, Connors said, is “the value of caring for others.”

Cara Zanella, Gateway spokeswoman, said the community was happy to be able to help out.

“The victims of Hurricane Sandy are still in need of supplies, and it was very gratifying to see all of the school supplies collected for the students who lost everything in the flooding,” Zanella said. “Our thoughts and well wishes continue to be with our neighbors in New York and New Jersey, and we hope the generosity of our parents, students and staff brings a smile to their faces.”

Matt DeFusco is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-849-1482 or mdefusco@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.