Angels of God charity exemplifies the Glassboro spirit

Angels of God is a non-profit charity that receives donated clothes and distributes them to those in need via their Pitman, NJ storefront, the Angels of God Clothing Closet . The organization also runs multiple events throughout the year to give goods to those less fortunate. This December, Angels of God hosted a Toy Drive on South Broadway Ave in Pitman for donation to those locally as well as those suffering from the effects of Sandy.182376_10151025825893278_824337452_n

Katelyn Darrow-Eystad founded Angels of God when she was just 12 years old. Darrow-Eystad, now 16, is a high school student at Pitman High and amazingly finds time between her studies and involvement with three sports, cheerleading in the fall, swimming in the winter and golfing in the spring,  to work at the organization’s clothing closet and its various drives. She decided to found Angels of God after a fire destroyed her family’s home. “I wanted to help other people because I knew what it was like to go through that,” she said.

Darrow-Eystad’s family was supportive from the get go and now have become as involved in the project as she has. Her mother, Elissa Darrow-Eystad, is instrumental to the operation.  She runs the day-to-day operations at the Closet and works tirelessly to ensure the smooth operation of the clothing closet and the drives.

When I asked if she was surprised by her already busy daughter’s decision to play golf she said, “Nothing she does anymore surprises me.” Between a job and the Closet, Elissa’s effort to help those in need is astounding and a shining example of the spirit of helping.

This year Sharpie presented Katelyn with a check for $10,000 for her charitable efforts. Stapes also donated $10,000 worth of school supplies for donation.

Photo credit: angelsofgod.org

On December 8th and 15th, Angels of God hosted a toy drive on Broadway Ave, in Pitman, NJ. I had the pleasure of joining Katelyn, her younger sister, Elissa and various volunteers for the drive. Donors came either via appointment or walk-in and their generosity was inspiring to say the least.

The donations were collected at the front of the rented storefront then brought to the back area to be sorted. The items were then divided by gender and age. The toys will be donated via sponsors or delivered to children directly. Items included bicycles, board games, iPods, stuffed animals, action figures and much more.

To assist the charity, volunteers from all over South Jersey come in to provide whatever help is needed. I encountered a number of volunteers who were eager to help the cause. Some volunteer regularly and for others it was their first time. Despite experience, the motivation was the same: to help those who are less fortunate and to recognize that many people are not able to enjoy the comforts of the lives we’ve grown so use to.

The Angels of God organization is a truly inspiring group of people and spending time with the Darrow-Eystad’s and their revolving cast of volunteers demonstrated the deep caring people have for one another. In a world full of tragedy, it is reassuring to see people pouring their time and efforts into helping others and expecting nothing in return. These are the people this world needs more of.

Farewell, Readers

My Online Journalism I class has come to an end and I’d like to thank you for viewing and commenting. The likes and comments are truly appreciated and I am extremely glad to have entertained and interested you all. Exploring Glassboro and attending the events it has to offer has been wonderful and eye-opening. There is a strong sense of community here, even if many Rowan students don’t experience it.

So my advice: go out and interact with the wonderful people that comprise the non-student population, go to the many events Glassboro and Rowan host, search for those quirky little oddities that make a place unique.

Glassboro may not be on par in terms of size with some other college towns, but that doesn’t mean it is not special nor worth exploring. This town is teeming with awesome people and great establishments, with many more to come. Don’t consider Glassboro just a waypoint, truly make it your home away from home.

Here are some links to my favorite posts:

An Interview with Jeffrey Norcross

The Boro through the Eyes of a Student

Glassboro Hosts Craft Fair

For Autumn

Experiencing the Tunnel of Oppression

 

I hope to continue to make posts but on a less frequent basis, so check back!

Thanks,

Steve

A Grave Peculiarity

Several years ago a friend showed me something odd in Glassboro’s Manahath Cemetery, located at 730 N. Main Street. Just off the road that runs through the cemetery sits a gravestone with the inscribed words, “I told you I was sick.” Is it a joke? A spiteful vengeance from a sick women?

Photo by Steve Giangola

Photo by Steve Giangola

I guess only this person’s family knows, leaving us to wonder…

A Night of Poetry in Glassboro

On Thursday, November 29th, Rowan students gathered upstairs at the Barnes & Nobles on Rowan Boulevard for “Rhythm & Prose”, a poetry reading organized by Avant, Rowan’s student-run literary club, and Lyrical Alliance, a slam poetry club here on campus. The event featured readings from Avant’s self-titled literary magazine, even digging into the club’s vaults for poems written by students as far back as the early 1970’s. Lyrical Alliance provided their own flavor for the night, with poems that infused heavy rhythm with personal perspective.

Avant accepts submissions for its magazine throughout the year from matriculated students and according to their magazine, is “published biannually by the undergraduate students of Rowan University and exclusively features undergraduate work.” The club is overseen by Professor Ron Block, who at the event said, “I don’t do a lot. I don’t advice much. The students are highly organized and artistic.” It is encouraging to see students so deeply involved in producing something unique to our university. Issues of Avant can be found throughout campus and I highly recommend students to check out their fellow classmate’s work if they haven’t already.

Josh Howard, president of the Lyrical Alliance, said the event was “long overdue,” and recited his poetry with powerful confidence and passion, evoking a positive response from the crowd. Other highlights included readings from student Scott Seigel, who revved up the audience of about 40 people with a fictional performance piece about the town’s water supply being tainted with LSD and a reading of a poem from the 1972 issue of Avant by student Gabrielle Ostapovich about the grim realities of veterans returning from Vietnam.

Rhythm and Prose was a truly entertaining experience and a great chance to see what Rowan students have to offer in terms of artistic expression. The vibrant diversity of student experience here in Glassboro reflected wonderfully in the readings and I hope to enjoy more events of this type.

Avant meetings are held every Thursday at 5 p.m. in The Publication Suite, room 220, of the Student Center. Submissions can be sent to avantzine@gmail.com. 

 

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