By TAYLOR HARTZ
Allyson Genovese, founder of Southington non-profit “Ally G’s Everyday Angels,” recognized several students last week for their dedication to volunteer work and giving back to their community.
After a banquet for the students and their families at Zingarella’s on Dec. 2, Genovese and the non-profit’s board of directors presented seven students from Southington High School and Bristol Eastern High School with plaques to recognize their contributions to the foundation.
Dedicated to community service for seven-years, Genovese said that at “Ally G’s Everyday Angels”, their mission is “to help anyone in need.”
“Its broad for a reason,” said Genovese.
The foundation hosts dozens of fundraisers each year, in addition to taking confidential requests for those in need. Contributing everything from Thanksgiving mails to needy families to holiday treats for troops overseas, Genovese said there is always at least one fundraiser going on.
Connor Watson, Victoria Castillo, Aparna Athreya, Jessica Kerchis, Sondra Keltner, Sarah Anderson, and Mary Bilodeau were recognized at the banquet for their service to this year’s fundraisers.
Three students who “went above and beyond” with their commitment to volunteerism and academic excellence were recognized a second time at the event –
Keltner, Castillo, and Watson were each applauded for countless hours dedicated to different efforts throughout the year.
Watson, a 14-year-old freshman at SHS, spent an entire day sorting through Halloween candy with Genovese this past October. This year, the foundation sent more than 1,600 bags of candy to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Operation Gratitude.
“I felt that the kids at the hospital and troops would really appreciate it and have a better holiday,” Watson said about his service.
Genovese said that, although she does not encourage volunteer service to earn recognition, she believes it is important to honor children who are dedicating so much of their time at such a young age.
The founder also hopes that recognizing active youth volunteers will encourage other young residents to find a way to get involved and give back as well.
“I think it’s very important to teach our children that giving has as much of a reward as receiving,” said Genovese.