Daniel DeMasi ’21 Organizes Successful Food & Toy Drive
October 19, 2020
With COVID-19 affecting the typical group service activities, CBA students have been forced to get creative when looking to give back to their communities.
Senior Daniel DeMasi has been volunteering at the Aslan Youth Ministries for his entire CBA career. Aslan is a nonprofit organization serving some of the most impoverished areas in Monmouth County, within Long Branch, Red Bank and Asbury Park.
He has served as a summer camp counselor for two seasons, giving opportunities to kids such as trips to the beach, arts & crafts, and other activities.
“As counselors, we were responsible to engage with the campers so they can have fun while learning,” DeMasi said. “My experience was overwhelmingly rewarding.”
Of course, DeMasi could not return to his typical role as a summer counselor this past season, but still had the “urge” to help Aslan during this difficult time.
“The campers and their families needed support more than ever due to COVID-19 setbacks,” he said. “I saw an opportunity both to provide support for the families in the Aslan community, as well as getting the National Honor Society involved in service through setting up a food and toy drive.”
Thanks to NHS students, members of the CBA community, and Aslan’s Volunteer Coordinator Janis Marler, DeMasi was able to donate carloads of food and toys to Aslan families.
“We are so grateful for Daniel’s kind and compassionate heart and willingness to do anything to serve the less fortunate,” Marler said.
DeMasi’s food and toy drive is just one of the early examples of Academy men getting creative with service opportunities this year. Campus Ministry is running similar activities with food and diaper donations to St. Mark’s Pantry in Keyport.
While COVID-19 may present an obstacle, DeMasi’s initiative shows that CBA students will continue to “serve and stand for those in need” as written in the Academy Oath.
“In light of the COVID-19 situation, the greater community needs our service more than ever and it is important for us to find ways to provide that service even if it cannot be in person,” DeMasi said. “It is not CBA’s culture to give up when times get hard. We always strive to find a way to improvise, adapt, and overcome.”