You’re an angel

By Ellen Cooke

Our volunteers make the holidays happier for families in need

Over the past 10 years, employees have donned ‘angel wings’ and hearts to make Christmas merrier for children in need … and we’re talking more than 1,000 kids!

Sponsored by Hands Together New York (HTNY)*, Long Island, NY volunteers have participated in the Salvation Army Angel program – where ‘secret shoppers’ make sure families who couldn’t otherwise afford it have clothes and toys for  Santa to give their kids, based on their wish lists.

This year, 46 employees and retirees participated (150 total if you count our PSEG Long Island counterpart). From bicycles, to winter coats, to dolls, trucks, gifts for ‘moms’ and more, employees were proud and pleased to play a part.

Ben Weisel – brand new employee as of November 30, says, ““I am extremely happy to participate and support this worthy cause.  It warms my heart to know that children will have toys this holiday season.”

Tara Bell adds, “I participate in the Salvation Army Angel program as there are many children on Long Island, and in this world, that will not receive Christmas presents this season.  Any small thing I can do to make one child, and their parents, smile, I’m more than happy to do!”

HTNY hopes to extend the program to other parts of our US service area next year. In Syracuse this year, employees participated in their own holiday angel program – sponsoring 47 children from the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center, ranging in age from 3 months to 17 years. The Center was overwhelmed by our employees’ generosity, with gifts filling, to overflow, two large vehicles.

Employee Volunteers

Shown (l-r) in the photo, along with a sampling of National Grid employees’ generous gifts, are Ben Weisel, Joan Jerz, Michelle Rapp, Amanda Sarubbi, Marion Quigley, Ellen Cooke, Lavelle Taylor, Maria Nieminen, Deb Tamborski, Eileen Dantini, Ann Marie Wroblewski, Lynn Falanga, Dolores Petrocelli, Tara Bell and Lisa Zafonte Maffei (who coordinated this year’s event in Hicksville).

Hands Together NY logoHands Together NY is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to, and passionate about, raising funds to help those struggling with issues of hunger or homelessness in our local communities. To find out more or join the group, go to or call
516-545-3321. The organization could always use more helping hands!

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