It’s no secret that the power of food can bring people together and that is exactly the case when teachers and administrators from Mineola Middle School banded together to support the frontline workers at NYU Winthrop Hospital with a bagel breakfast, which was supplied by My Three Sons Bagel Cafe in Garden City South.
“The Mineola Teachers [Association] (MTA) has reps in each building,” said Ilyse Milberg, who is a seventh grade teacher at Mineola Middle School. “The reps from the middle school, Lisa Rivera, Annmarie Palumbo, Tammy Sobel and I decided to reach out to the teachers, staff and administrators in the building to see if they were interested in participating in a collection to donate food to Winthrop. The response was overwhelming. As soon as the email went out, donations started pouring in. We far surpassed our expectations. At the same time, our hospitality committee, run by Deborah Doherty and Marie Soper, were planning to provide a bagel breakfast using our hospitality funds. Since the donations received were so generous, we are able to use the collection money to pay for the bagels and still donate $800 to [the charity] #friendswhogive.”
#Friendswhogive, a charity staple in the village especially around Christmas time with its toy donations to underprivileged children, was the perfect partner for the middle school’s efforts.
“One of the members of the MTA who is also a resident of Mineola, was familiar with the organization,” Milberg explained. “She connected me with #friendswhogive and we felt that they were the perfect organization to donate to ensure that our money would be used in the best possible way.”
Once the generous bagel breakfast was delivered to the workers at NYU Winthrop, Milberg said that they were very appreciative.
“It was earlier on in the pandemic and the hospital workers had been working crazy hours and were tired and scared,” she explained. “It was great to do something to help them in any way we could. It is amazing to work with a group of people who are so passionate about what they do and so connected to the students and families in the Mineola. It is our pleasure to give back to Mineola because we have gotten so much from being part of this community.”
So why does Milberg and the other teachers and administrators feel that it’s important to give back to others?
“Mineola has given so much to the school community and we as teachers, think of Mineola as our family,” Milberg said. “We wanted to show our appreciation for the frontline workers that put their lives on the line so that we can stay home and be safe with our families and the children in the community.”