The Patchogue-Medford High School Robotics Team 329 and Legis. Rob Calarco recently worked together to coordinate a food and toy drive for the needy.
The Robotics Team, comprising 67 members, threw all of its energy into collecting enough food to provide 18 large boxes of non-perishables and diapers and over 100 wrapped toys to 27 homeless teen mothers and their infants and six needy families. The group, along with their advisors, worked to individualize the drive so that one family also received two large bags of clothing, while the 27 young moms each received a special gift for themselves.
The team also donated a large amount of collected non-perishables to Long Island Cares and extra toys to help out the Town of Brookhaven with its toy drive.
Calarco opened up his very decorated office to the families from 3 to 6 pm. During that time, Robotics team members played Santa and his elves and handed out cookies and juice to the little ones, while other team members supplied parents with extra toys in bags so they could surprise their children on Christmas Day.
“I have never met a better group of young people than the members of Pat-Med’s FIRST Robotics Team," Calarco said. "They are smart, hard-working, and socially-conscious. When those children saw Santa their eyes lit up.
"And it was beyond heart-warming to be able to help parents who had no other way to provide Christmas for their families. Giving and reaching out to others really is what the season is all about."
On Friday, the Robotics Team also dropped off a large donation of toys to the Brookhaven Town Interface toy drive.