Schreiber students give back to community

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Hannah Brooks and Emily Class, Staff Writers

Recently, various Schreiber students and groups have taken initiatives to better Port Washington and other communities.

During December break, two Port Washington teenagers, sophomores Kate and Alec Goodman, researched an Italian custom called “sospeso,” where one person pays for the person ahead of them if they’re in need.  It becomes a chain reaction where everyone helps each other out.  These two students were so inspired, they decided to integrate it into their own community. 

First, they chose Carlo’s Pizza, a hometown favorite, as a good location to start their initiative.  They reached out to owner Danny Cenatiepmo, and the three set up a bulletin board in Carlo’s where people can write kind messages to one another that act as tokens for a free slice of pizza.  Those who are in need can take a Post-It, bring it to the register, and get a free slice.  If you have an extra $3 to spare, you can purchase a note, write a kind message on it, and hang it on the bulletin board.  Once you hang it, anyone who needs a slice can take your note and get a free one. 

“It’s been wonderful being able to give back to the community,” said Centatiempo.

However, the students have had a tough time publicizing their project.

“The biggest challenge we have faced has been spreading the word to community members in need, so they know Post-Its are redeemable for them to take off the wall.  We have received plenty of donations, but many people in need do not know about the program,” said Kate Goodman.

The two have also helped the community on a larger scale.  In February, they worked with the Parent Resource Center to provide meals to low-income families in our community.  They fed 42 families and donated 50 pizza gift cards to members of Our Lady of Fatima on Easter Sunday.  Most recently, they helped out the Children’s Center by giving them 14 pizzas for lunch for the kids.

“This sort of goodwill reciprocity has generated a ‘buzz’ to strengthen Port’s sense of community, assist Port businesses with repeat business they so desperately rely on, and help community members in need get a bite to eat,” said the Goodmans.

They call it “a win-win-win” situation.

The things they’ve done have already helped businesses like Carlo’s gain more customers and have made an incredible impact on many Port families. 

You can support the cause by going to Carlo’s (109 Main Street) and donate a slice for three dollars.  They are also accepting donations via Venmo, @portpaysitforward, to accept future donations to help our community members.

The Goodmans are not the only Port teens paying it back during this time.  Two Schreiber sophomores. Mikey Capobianco and Sam Rothenberg, the creators of the Crunch Time Podcast and Schreiber Times editors, established a fundraiser for the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation.  The Foundation, which was created by former NFL player and military brat Vincent Jackson, seeks to provide support to military families, according to their website.

Rothenberg interviewed Jackson on the podcast in February, just weeks before the football star’s sudden death.

“Sam found Vincent to be a super respectful and amazing person, and we wanted to give back to his charity and honor his legacy,” said Capobianco.

Capobianco and Rothenberg reached out to the creators of the 3 Dollar Challenge, a program founded by two other Long Island teens, for guidance regarding the fundraiser.  The challenge encourages people to repost and tag friends in invitations to donate at least three dollars to a particular cause.  Teaming up with the 3 Dollar Challenge, Crunch Time was able to run their fundraiser by posting on social media and nominating their followers to do the same.

“They started a movement that was able to go pretty far, and they did it for a great cause,” said sophomore Alex Almahmoud.

Donations often exceeded the requisite three dollars, as many united to get involved in the effort.  In all, Crunch Time raised about $2,000 for the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation.

“It is important to give back because there are people out there who need resources and other things, and just being able to help them if you can is a great feeling,” said Capobianco.

Indeed, while the creators of Crunch Time hope tragedies like Jackson’s death do not repeat themselves, they were heartwarmed by the outpouring of goodwill and charitable effort made by all those involved.