MacAfee Road School Benefits From Eli Lilly’s ‘Day Of Service’ Volunteers

Jersey Cares Volunteers10

Eli Lilly volunteers work on building flower boxes, staining picnic benches and sprucing up the courtyard at MacAfee Road School.

It’s not often that Bill Grippo is at a loss for words, but that was the condition in which the MacAfee Road School principal found himself Oct. 1 as he watched a small army of volunteers hard at work in the school’s courtyard.

The men and women were hard at work building and staining plant boxes, and staining picnic benches for the elementary school’s students.

“This is amazing, just amazing,” Grippo said as he watched.

The group was part of a contingent of dozens of Eli Lilly employees who took the day to volunteer to do projects at the township school as part of Lilly’s “Global Day of Service.”

Lilly partnered with Jersey Cares, a Livingston-based organization whose mission is to “make volunteering more easy, meaningful and fun,” said Michelle Dee, Jersey Cares’senior director for external affairs.

Throughout the day, volunteers from Jersey Cares and Lilly – the latter of which were outfitted in red t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan, “Lilly Hands and Hearts” – took part in projects designed to beautify the school. Some volunteers painted murals on the school’s hallway walls, while others led fitness or nutrition workshops, and still others were outside, doing plantings or weeding.

Dee said MacAfee was the only school that received volunteers that day, although Lilly employees were at seven different sites in New Jersey.

Dee said she first contacted Grippo via email about the possibility of having the volunteers in, and added that the connection almost didn’t happen.

“I thought it was spam,” Grippo said. “But then I said let me read this, and then I said, why not? I thought they would come down and donate a tree or something.”

Grippo charged 3rd Grade teacher Sharon Seiwert with the task of coordinating the event.

“He said, ‘make it happen, Sharon,’ and I made it happen,” she said.

“I sent (Jersey Cares) several proposals, and they decided what they wanted to do,” Seiwert said.

“This is just a great example of corporate America joining hands with public education,” Grippo said.

“It takes a lot to surprise me, but to see over 60 or 70 people here, volunteering their time and completely changing the face of the school, working with the kids in the classrooms, it’s such great spirit and generosity,” he said. “Eli Lily is just a wonderful company.”

ELi Lily Volunteers At MacAfee Road School



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