For Jeremy Perillo the end of August signals something other than back to school time. It is time for him to drop off the crutch, cane and walker donations that he has collected for Crutches 4 Kids. This year Jeremy, a Life Scout with Troop 42, was able to increase his support of the organization to include monetary donations as well.
Crutches 4 Kids is a non-profit based in NYC founded by twin doctors from Westport, Connecticut, Beth and Ken Shubin Stein. Thus far they have collected over 10,000 pairs of crutches, canes and walkers, giving the gift of mobility, independence and hope to thousands in need. Ken Shubin Stein is proud of the continued commitment “Jeremy and the others who helped him have done a fantastic job, and, most importantly, permanently improved the lives of the children with disabilities they are helping. Our entire organization, and the children we serve, depend on incredible volunteers like Jeremy.”
Jeremy was an active participant in the New Fairfield Middle School student council last school year. Throughout the year the student council organized various spirit days. These days allowed students and faculty to dress according to the theme. Each spirit day benefited an organization or group and all funds that were collected were donated to the organization. Jeremy suggested that Crutches 4 Kids be considered as one of the organizations that would benefit from the donated funds. On January 31st the students participated in “Formal Day” and the response was overwhelming. New Fairfield Middle School proudly raised over $350 to send to the Crutches 4 Kids organization.
Starting in June, Jeremy organized his second annual crutch drive in New Fairfield. Last summer he was able to donate over 125 items to the Crutches 4 Kids organization. With back to back crutch drives typically there is a drop off in donations. Jeremy was aware of this challenge and made sure to increase his advertising and word of mouth awareness. Again, he received the full support of some of the amazing businesses in town. New Fairfield Stop and Shop, The New Fairfield Library and Western Connect Medical Group office once again agreed to be designated drop off locations. The boxes were put into place and stayed full over the summer with donations.
Melody Woolford, Crutches 4 Kids Executive Director was happy to receive Jeremy’s application for a second year. “Crutches 4 Kids is thrilled to have Jeremy host a second crutch drive for kids in need of mobility devices in impoverished communities around the world. I consider him to be one of our rock star crutch drive volunteers - someone who takes the initiative to go above and beyond by reaching out to his community to ensure a successful crutch drive. We are very grateful for his efforts, and hope that he will inspire other boy/girl scouts to follow in his footsteps.”
On August 26th Jeremy and his father packed up the car and delivered 55 pairs of crutches, 10 walkers, 8 canes and two boots to the Americares warehouse in Stamford, Connecticut. These items will be packed up and shipped to an area in need but the final destination has not been confirmed. Regardless of where they go Jeremy is proud that he has been able to give the gift of mobility to over 200 people through his crutch drives in New Fairfield.