By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
As fears of COVID-19 loom over each community, many residents have been forced to deal with closures and the disruption of services that help them with their day to day life. Seniors in Westwood have been hit particularly hard by the closure of the Senior Center and some of the services it provides. Though the Council on Aging (COA) is working hard to provide necessary services, it cannot do everything to fulfill every need. Thankfully, many members of the community are looking to fill every possible gap, from picking up elderly neighbors’ groceries to chatting with them while staying at least six feet away.
Among those community volunteers have been members of the WHS football team.
With sports done until at least May 4, many local athletes have found themselves at loose ends, wanting to contribute to their community but seemingly unable to do so. To that end, members of the Westwood High School football team recently reached out and offered to lend a hand to some seniors, knowing that the Council on Aging might well be short-staffed.
Prior to closures caused by COVID-19, Charlotte Gilmore had a couch sitting in her garage, waiting to be moved out. On March 27, football players Shea Loughnane, Brian Farrell, Jayson Onanian, and Joe Glynn, coordinated by the COA, visited Gilmore’s house armed with a dolly. With some careful strategizing and taking careful precautions to maintain social distancing, and after putting in some teamwork, the players were able to safely move the couch from the garage to the end of Gilmore’s driveway.
Shea Loughnane, who initially reached out to the Council on Aging, knows how far a little bit of kindness can go right now. “The best part of helping Mrs. Gilmore is that if we had not helped, she would have hired a moving company to do it for her. It is rewarding knowing that taking a little bit of time out of your day to help someone else can save them time and money.”
While it may seem like a simple, easy task, it’s a fantastic reminder that nothing - not even the moving of a couch - is ordinary these days.
It’s also a testament to the kind hearts that exist in the Westwood community.