Aspiring Physician Takes Action In The Fight Against COVID-19
This Sicklerville Teen Saw A Need And Created An Initiative To Help Families at VOADV’s Anna M. Sample Complex
People of color are significantly more likely to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether it is by loss of income or housing, hospitalization or even death. When 16 year old Monica Thomas, from Sicklerville, NJ, became aware of this, she knew she had to do something to help.
While all of us have witnessed the brutal impact of the pandemic throughout the past year, Monica hears stories from the frontlines each day – both of her parents are physician’s assistants and her sister is an ICU nurse. They all have been coming home with heartbreaking stories of the realities of this virus. COVID-19 even hit the Thomas family close with the loss of two members of the family to the virus in recent months.
Monica is a born leader – she serves as class president of the Class of 2022 and captain of the tennis team at Timber Creek High School. An aspiring physician herself, the desire to help others is part of her nature. Thus, Monica recently made the decision to have a COVID-19 relief fundraiser, collecting donations and hygiene products for vulnerable populations who have been the most affected by the virus.
Monica wasted no time taking initiative – partnering with Christian Meditation Center, an organization that promotes peace and spiritual counseling in Williamstown, NJ. Together with the support of other local businesses, Monica and the Christian Meditation Center have raised more than $1,000 worth of donations for VOADV’S Anna M. Sample Complex for single women and families.
“These donations will have a tremendous impact on both the clients and the staff at this family shelter,” explained Alexis Degan, Director of Philanthropic Gifts at VOADV. “Not only is Monica helping to provide for the basic needs of our clients, her support is crucial to keeping the shelter stable as the pandemic continues into 2021.”
Monica has already made two trips to drop-off donations at Anna M. Sample Complex. When she dropped off her second carload of donations recently, 6ABC came along to document her inspirational story.
“Seeing how COVID has affected people from all different backgrounds, I decided to start this fundraiser because when people get evicted and lose their jobs, they become more vulnerable to the virus and they're less protected because they don't have the basic needs," Monica shared with 6ABC. “I know I’m very young, but once you put the idea out there, you’ll be so surprised at what you get back.”
Monica has done so much to help and isn’t slowing down yet – although she originally planned her fundraiser to last through March 1, she is currently working with her school to make the fundraiser a district-wide initiative.
To support Monica’s efforts, visit https://www.christianmeditationcenter.org/give/ and select “COVID-19 Relief.”