VIDEO: Helping seniors is a family affair
It only took a penny for TD Bank's Susan Diaz DeSantis life to change forever.
In 2015, the TD Store Manager was working in her Montclair, New Jersey location when her colleagues decided to hold a penny collection fundraiser to raise funds for Toni's Kitchen which raised $3,000. Toni's Kitchen has been serving meals in the Montclair community for the underprivileged since 1982.
The fundraiser spurred Susan to learn more about the organization and volunteer to help the community where she worked. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Susan has increased her efforts to volunteering each Saturday to deliver food to senior citizens who cannot leave their homes, due to health concerns.
"I do it from the heart," said Susan. "During this trying time, people need us. I am so happy to work for a bank that supports our efforts to serve the community. TD is focused on giving back to our customers and communities."
Susan isn't the only one in her family to volunteer, her husband and daughter also join her efforts to help make life better for those stuck in their homes.
Helping to relieve worries of hunger
Each Saturday since the start of stay-at-home regulations, Susan and family wake up early to help put together the bags of food that she will deliver later to a group of senior citizens at their front doors.
"The elders are impacted the most," Susan said. "It so important that they don't have to worry where their next meal is coming from. Anything to help them, I will do."
The recipients of the bags of food know Susan is coming each week so they are prepared. Many like to speak with Susan as she is often the only visitor they see for a week. Although Susan treasures each visit, there is one that stands out to her.
"There is a gentleman, Charlie who is 93 years old, and he lives alone with his dog and cat," she said. He's always grateful when we talk."
Susan intends to continue her weekly volunteering for as long as needed to help the seniors in her community weather this difficult time.
"I believe in helping others, and I am very passionate about what I do," she said. "There's nothing better than having the chance to give back."