DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. - Medical workers of the COVID-19 unit of Mainline Health’s Riddle Hospital in Media were treated to lunch by 13-year old Aston middle schooler Gabe Palmarini.
“Everyone is working so hard and I felt like, I could give back to them,” said Gabe.
Gabe hatched up a plan to raise money and was inspired by a volunteer group he saw on Facebook, Delco Feeds the Frontlines.
“First, we started a flyer and we passed it around our neighborhood. We raised about 200 to 300 dollars there and then we went to the Internet, Instagram and Facebook and we raised another $1,000," he said.
“They were leaving money in our mailbox and Gabriel did all the phone calls. He reached out to Wawa Foundations and they donated water," his mom, Lisa, said.
Gabe tapped Buddy’s Burgers for their brand new food service truck. The co-owner of the truck Marc Boornazian is one of his neighbors.
“Feels great. We even made extra so more people can enjoy,” explained Boornazian.
The truck made an additional 50 more meals than planned and served close to 200 frontlines workers in all. Some of the workers inside were barely able to get a break like Amber Liggins and Tamila Corey were able to enjoy some of the food on hand.
“It depends on how many it is and then trying to run to McDonald's and get back within 30 minutes, it’s kinda hard,” said Corey.“Small things matter and we appreciate Gabe for that,” added Liggins.
As for Gabe, he’s incredibly proud of the hard work he has done.
“I feel so happy that they’re happy. I heard some of them forgot their lunches today. I just feel really happy that they get to eat today," Gabe added.
Riddle Hospital President Shelly Buck says this is more than just a free lunch for their hardworking staff, doing stressful work.
“To be able to come outside and have a moment to enjoy the weather, get a meal, and be recognized by the community, especially by a young man, 13 like Gabe. This is outstanding," she said.
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