By Renee Larr
Student Impact in Westfield does more than just help students find a safe place to hang out after school. The organization recently partnered with Westfield Welcome to sponsor a local family in need for the holidays. Westfield Welcome is a group of dedicated volunteers who promote volunteerism and inform residents.
“My husband and I had a former foster kid and student who still lives in the community that needed some help for her family before Christmas, so I asked Westfield Welcome if anyone knew where we could find help for them. She contacted us. She has a small child. She’s engaged. They didn’t have enough for Christmas because things didn’t line up,” SI Executive Director Danyele Easterhaus said. “It was about Dec. 15. She knew we were connected in the community to help with resources for people. Unfortunately, at that point, everyone had already signed up to sponsor families, and items were already being delivered. Because of all that I sent a message to a number of people looking for help.”
She decided to ask around within the Westfield Welcome community.
“We decided that the group of people that I was asking would sponsor the family themselves rather than an organization doing so. Erin Shockley said she would donate $75 in cash from Westfield Welcome golf cart drivers’ tips,” Easterhaus said. “The biggest thing we do at Grand Park is drive golf carts and deliver people that are elderly or physically disabled to their game spot or field. At all the entrances, they can call and request a pick up. People want to tip you, and we always say no because we’re just volunteers, and they will say please just take it anyway. Through the last year, we have just been giving our tips to Erin.”
In all, the group was able to come up with the cash for the family along with gifts cards to Kroger, Target and Kohl’s.
“They were given the items on the 23rd to provide for Christmas for their young daughter,” Easterhaus said.
For more, visit therockwestfield.org.