Aspiring teacher Sarah Webber, who graduates this year with a degree in childhood and special education, may not be working in classrooms during this last semester of her undergraduate studies due to the coronavirus pandemic, but she is reaching out to students in her local school district all the same.
The Guilderland, N.Y., native, who is a legacy student (grandfather Tim Fischer graduated with the Class of 1966, aunt Caren Fischer was a member of the Class of 1997, and parents Brian and Christine (Fischer) Webber are 1992 alumni) and senior captain for the Niagara University swimming and diving team, has been delivering no-cost meals to families in the Guilderland School District.
“I have to give the credit to my mom for presenting the opportunity to me,” Sarah said. “I decided to deliver meals because I felt it would be a good experience for me to get out of the house and help families around me. I graduated from the Guilderland School District and I wanted to give back as a way to thank the district for all that it gave me.”
Twice a week, Sarah takes meals to approximately 10 families who qualify. While she provides contactless delivery, she is still able to connect with those she is serving with a smile and a wave. Her favorite moments come when she can interact with the children, albeit in a social distancing way.
“One boy was playing outside and came up to me to take the box,” she said. “I wear a mask and gloves, so I was happy to have him come help. He was very friendly and seemed eager to show his strength by carrying the heavy box inside. Although it was a short encounter, it made my day to meet such a kind student. Seeing that I am supposed to be student teaching right now, I have definitely felt a void from not seeing smiling students every day.”
In addition to filling that void, Sarah’s compassionate service to others enables her to use some of her free time in a way that honors the mission of Niagara University.
“It has been incredible to see so many members of the community doing the same, and it has reminded me of how much I have to be thankful for,” she said. “There is so much uncertainty and stress during this time, and this has been a great way for me to put my energy into something positive.
“Many school districts are in need of volunteers; however, I am not sure if people are aware of that,” Sarah continued. “If my experience does one thing, I hope it inspires others to help out in any way they can during this time!”