SJC Long Island students Timothy Barone, Alexa Setaro and Nicholas Mitchko planned, organized and carried out a safe trick-or-treating event and food drive in their hometown last month.
The trio of child study majors, who met as classmates at Rocky Point High School, planned the Oct. 31 Super Safe Halloween drive-thru, trick-or-treating event to keep the spirit of Halloween alive for the children they work with at the North Shore Youth Council, a nonprofit community-based organization in Rocky Point.
“It was really nice to see the kids so happy to be getting something,” Mitchko said. “It was difficult because some people didn’t want trick-or-treaters this year. So in order to respect everybody, and make everyone safe and happy, we thought this was the best option. It was great to see so many people participate and contribute to our town”
The SJC students dressed as Marvel superheroes: Setaro as Captain Marvel, Barone as Thanos and Mitchko as Captain America.
“When we were planning this event, I thought we could dress as superheroes as save Halloween,” Setaro said. “That became our slogan and why we called the event Super Safe Halloween.”
The students spent more than a month organizing 60 volunteers, laying out procedures to protect volunteers and attendees from COVID-19, and collecting enough candy and toys to give to all the children attending. It was hard work, but Barone, Setaro and Mitchko’s efforts paid off. About 500 people attended the event, they collected seven boxes of food, and the Village Beacon-Record featured the students in a newspaper article.
Reflecting on the Food Drive
Barone, Setaro and Mitchko said they felt gratitude toward everyone who supported their event.
“We were giving so much to our community,” Barone said. “It was so amazing to see so many people give back. We had a lot of help from St. Joseph’s College professors, like James Wyckoff, and other St. Joseph’s students helped out.
“It was amazing to see there were people from other communities and other areas coming together to help us,” he continued. “It follows the St. Joseph’s College mission, to have social responsibility.”
Mitchko added to that sentiment.
“It was really, really nice to see that even in this weird time, people can still come together, and help each other, and do things for each other.”