Time to clean off the desk and get some updates out on the community and on good events and good hearts.
Our little buddy Vincenzo Gallo, 8, has a cheerful disposition and many causes tucked into his soul. Last year, in 2020, he collected blankets. His goal was 99 blankets and he got about 350. His dad, Omar, said there were blankets everywhere in the house before the distribution date.
This past Christmas 2021 season, he wanted to collect socks for the homeless. Socks are great and they take up less room in the Gallo household. He had a goal of 200. Once again, he surpassed his mark with 1,500 pairs. The socks were given to the homeless and Catholic Charities.
Fewer cold feet out there. Thank you, Vincenzo.
Dad said there was a wonderful outpouring of support and emails. “The local dental practices — Hacken Orthodontics, Dr. Gregory Robbins, Jefferson Dental Center and Oral Surgery Michiana — all contributed socks.”
Mary Szabo, office manager at Hacken, said all the offices pulled together to get the socks collected. “We were impressed with Vincenzo and how he wants to be involved.” And there is a lot to be said for warm toes.
Next year, Vincenzo is contemplating a hat and glove drive for Christmas. Stay tuned.
The Ripple Effect Vocal Visionary Project had a Christmas warm, fuzzy hat/glove fundraiser on Dec. 11 outside the InRugCo, East Mishawaka Avenue. You may not remember it, but it was a lousy day — windy and cold. They sang no matter what.
Choir director Sherry Klinedinst called the day “bone-chilling. But we are a hardy bunch.” The traffic was good and people were generous. “Broadway Christian Church was thrilled with the hats and gloves.”
There were a lot of folks who ran stuff over to the collection barrels and ran back to the car, Sherry said.
The choir does the street-side fundraiser every year. Sherry said the choir has weathered some challenging weather over the years and nothing stops them.
George Gherardi is looking for three people. You may remember he was born on Christmas Day 1959 at St. Joseph Hospital, Mishawaka. He shared the nursery with three babies who were born on the same day.
He has a Tribune photo of the four babies and their moms. Of course, the photo had George. The other three in the photo are Susan Robertson, Timothy Mortimer and Douglas Toombs.
After all these years, George was hoping to find the three. The column ran his story and an email address for contacts. We all had our fingers crossed for good news.
George said he got a handful of replies from sleuths, online hobbyists and genealogists.
“Everyone was found. It is up to me to get in contact with them. Maybe we can exchange photos. A group shot may not be possible,” George said. They are a little spread out now.
George thanks the folks for digging into the web and helping.
What has been happening at Unity Gardens, South Bend, since receiving an award from USA Today and the Gannett Satellite Information Network?
The gardens were recognized as the Best of Earthkind in December. The prize was $1,000. Sara Stewart, executive director, was happy as a lark because that bought a lot of seeds.
It is winter, but that isn’t slowing things down too much.
After the award announcement, she said, she received a lot of calls from communities that want to start gardens. Perhaps starting slowly, a few gardens. Communities wanted tips on how to start the ball rolling.
She has also seen the South Bend community supporting the model. “That is a positive result. More people are interested in online classes and seminars. I’m always excited to see 30 or more people, new people in an online class. Very diverse groups.”
Sarah said she had a number of interview requests. “I got a call from Now This News. That excited my daughter. I never heard of them, but the company does a lot of online news.”
Coming soon, Sarah says, will be the final touches to the welcoming building on Prast Boulevard, the Growing Summit and a revamped truck called the “Edgy Veggie” that will take gardening ideas to the people.
“Gardeners should look at the Unity Garden website for updates. We have adjusted and moved dates because of COVID. We always have a Plan B, just in case,” Sarah said.
She said it has been a good year with many great ideas to come. “The gardens have grown. It has all been very serendipitous.”
Contact Kathy Borlik at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: Updates from Namely News on community service projects and more