Last Friday afternoon, Chatham Elementary School guidance counselor Jill Malinowski contacted Chatham Masonic Angel Fund volunteer Ben Nickerson to request extensive school supply kits for ten children at her school. The kids’ parents were unable to afford all of the school supply items that families are required to send to school with their children.
With typical MAF speed, Mr. Nickerson promised the counselor that he would deliver the items on Monday morning. Ben then contacted his colleagues at the Masonic Angel Foundation’s Beehive School Tools program to see what could be done.
Saturday morning, both Ben Nickerson and MAF president Robert Fellows visited TJ Maxx, Staples and Ocean State Job Lot to locate the necessary backpacks. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Mr. Nickerson met Mr. Fellows and MAF volunteer Adam Menges at Dollar Tree in South Yarmouth. Over the next 30 minutes, the store staff helped them assemble 170 different items for the children. Pencils, crayons, water bottles, hats, mittens, rulers, paper, notebooks and more filled the backpacks to overflowing.
In addition to school supplies, each child received one of the MAF’s now-famous Teddy bears, the personal gift of MAF co-founder Bob Fellows.
Saturday evening, Mr. Nickerson assembled all of the backpacks. Early Monday morning he picked up four more notebooks at MAF headquarters in Orleans along with Beehive Food Program packages for four Chatham families.
The backpacks and food kits were all delivered to Ms. Malinowski by 10 a.m., who emailed back “Thank you so much for the donations. This was so much more than we expected. Please know the food has already been distributed and the backpacks will be in the hands of our students by the weeks’ end.”
At the young age of 81, Ben Nickerson is an enthusiastic volunteer for the Masonic Angels. He delivers monthly food packages to Chatham Elementary School and has placed 16 Laptops for KidZ computers at the school in recent months.