MHS students help during a time of crisis

The+COVID-19+virus+has+plagued+the+world%2C+imposing+harsh+constraints+on+the+lives+of+civilians.

Photo Courtesy of FDA

The COVID-19 virus has plagued the world, imposing harsh constraints on the lives of civilians.

Sela Breen, Editor-in-Chief

In response to Covid-19, many students have stepped up to help the Larchmont-Mamaroneck community. Three students in particular, Kate Metzendorf (’21), Max Nodiff (’21), and Jerry Orans (’22), have been especially active in this and have even spearheaded the creation of their own community projects and charitable organizations.

Within weeks of the Mamaroneck district schools shutting down, Metzendorf mobilized to create a virtual talent show for students at Chatsworth Elementary School. She did this to “connect all of the students” and “provide everyone 15 minutes to laugh, smile, and distract themselves from the craziness” that was the world. Metzendorf came up with the project to give back to the Chatsworth community, a community she grew up in as an elementary student. She recognized the optimism that children can bring during such unprecedented, seemingly helpless times, and wanted to utilize that to create something to give back to the Chatsworth community, a community she grew up in as an elementary student. Metzendorf said that, although it felt easy to be overwhelmed by the world, “through this project [she] was able to give back and witness the happiness and creativity of Chatsworth students.”

Max Nodiff and his sister Molly Nodiff, an MHS alumna and junior at Ithaca College, created a charitable organization called Hungry Heroes Larchmont Mamaroneck amidst the craziness of Covid-19. The organization works to gather donations to provide meals to local emergency service teams, including VAC departments, EMS services, and both the Larchmont and Mamaroneck police and fire departments. Not only does this show appreciation for local first responders, but it supports local restaurants as well. When the Nodiffs began Hungry Heroes Larchmont Mamaroneck, their goal was to “show our first responders we care about them and appreciate their service” as well as “provide needed business for our local restaurants,” many of which have struggled throughout this crisis. By starting this organization and watching it grow, Nodiff has learned that “a little bit goes a long way” and has recognized that providing for those who take care of the community during a challenging time has been very rewarding. 

Jerry Orans is very active in the Larchmont-Mamaroneck STEM scene and, while sitting at home watching the news report on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) shortages in hospitals, saw an easy solution to the problem that he and other members of the STEM community could solve with their 3D printers. With the help of the  Larchmont-Mamaroneck STEM Alliance and MacInspires, Orans launched Hack The Pandemic to mobilize the owners of 3D printers in Mamaroneck to help create the much needed medical supplies, specifically 3D printed face shields, cloth face masks, and ear savers, and acrylic intubation boxes. The organization has grown to include over 200 makers. From this experience, Orans has been further connected with his community and discovered skills he himself did not know he had, such as logistics management and factory design. Additionally, he has loved “[being] able to meet so many wonderful and talented individuals from across the United States who have helped [him] to build Hack the Pandemic into what it is today.” 

There are many opportunities for community members to get involved in each of these projects. Although Metzendorf is not currently working on more virtual talent shows, she would love to create more and welcomes input, help, and ideas in her inbox at [email protected] To get involved in Hungry Heroes, Nodiff urges community members to donate to the group, or visit their Instagram, @hungryheroeslm, Facebook Page, Hungry Heroes- Larchmont Mamaroneck, or website, hungryheroeslm.com, for more information. To help out with Hack the Pandemic, visit the website, hackthepandemic.org, to learn more about donating, making PPE, transporting PPE, assisting with marketing, or simply spreading the word.