Greenwich High School food drive marks 9/11 remembrance

Today the Greenwich High School H.E.R.O.E.S. Club will remember each of the 2,977 lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with a very special act of service designed to help those in town who are in need.

Heroes Club, in collaboration with the Roots and Shoots Club and the non-profit Greenwich food bank Neighbor to Neighbor, will host a food drive at GHS today, Sept. 11, from 7 to 2. The collection box will be set up in the student center and everyone is encouraged to take part.

“We ask for donations of non-perishable food items such as canned goods as well as dried food items,” said Greenwich student Jack Weigold, the president of the Helping Encourage Remembrance Of Extraordinary Soldiers (H.E.R.O.E.S.) Club at GHS, which is designed to increase awareness of veterans among youth.

Jack, a 16-year-old senior, said he became involved in the club after his older sister founded it about five years ago with fellow GHS student Lizzie Trotta. Now that she’s graduated from GHS, Jack has taken over and is continuing the mission. Of course, community service and support for the troops is nothing new for the Weigold family as their father, John, is a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.

“My older sister Kelly Weigold started the Heroes club when she was a freshman five years ago with the vision of supporting troops, those overseas and home and all that they represent and protect,” Jack said. “Now that she has graduated and gone off to college, I was left with the responsibility of the club and because of my involvement since I was a freshman.”

The main objective of the food drive is to collect one food item from each other school’s approximately 2,700 students and 400 staff members. This would also equate to at least one donation for every life lost on Sept. 11. The drive is an act of service in observance of the day, which has been designated as a National Day of Service and Remembrance for the United States. Last year’s drive was such a success, according to Jack, that there was never any doubt they would do it again.

“Last year we received around 8,600 food items, almost tripling our goal,” Jack said. “This year our goal, in addition to reaching 2,977 items, is to reach 10,000 food items.”

Participation has grown substantially since the drive’s start in 2010 and it continues to try to address a need in town. The items collected by the students will be donated to the Neighbor to Neighbor, which provides food, clothing and other basic items weekly to more than 1,100 Greenwich residents.

“The overall reason I got involved in the club and in this event was the realization that myself alone can make a difference in many people’s lives by providing them with the hope that someone out there, whether they know them or not, is looking out for them,” Jack said.

More information is available about Neighbor to Neighbor at Ntngreenwich.org.

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