Mack develops, distributes care packages for those in need

Ar’Monie Mack a third year general health science scholar. Photo by Ar’Monie Mack

Due to workers being laid off during the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a need for essential items. The spread of the virus through the grocery and food industry is expected to cause disruptions in the production and distribution of certain products.

Ar’Monie Mack, a general health science student at Florida A&M from Tallahassee, took matters into her own hands.

Mack decided to make care packages with essential items for the community and college students who were stuck on campus. She was inspired by the controversy that raged on Twitter about people not having the basic cleaning supplies to stay protected from the coronavirus outbreak.

“One day I was sitting at home strolling down my Twitter newsfeed and I ran across a video of a homeless people begging for money to buy a blanket and a mask,” Mack said.

“All I could think about was how ungrateful I was to be sitting in the comfort of my home and complaining about why I couldn’t be outside. The man didn’t have an option to be at home in his bed safe and sound away from the virus. This is what initially made me realize that something had to be done to help those who couldn’t help themselves,” she added.

Mack at first wanted to give away only 50 boxes, but with the help of her friends and sponsors, she was able to give away 70 boxes. The packages consisted of toilet tissue, sanitizer, granola bars, organic green tea, steep tea, water and fruit snacks.

The giveaway was important to Mack because it hit close to home. She reflected on times growing up with her grandma and not always having everything she needed. Growing up, she often depended on others to come around and save the day. This giveaway allowed her to express her love and gratitude for the community and her peers.

Mack’s friend, Cassandra Clitus ,was all hands on deck for the care packages distribution.

“One word, exhausting. We spent between one to two days getting all the supplies we needed and an extra three days putting the actual boxes together. Then we spent another two days physically passing out the boxes to everyone and another day shipping out the boxes. Every day we spent on the boxes was an all-day activity and going to sleep early in the morning trying to organize things for the next day. As much as I wanted to go to sleep, I knew the end goal was much better,” she said.

Casey Warming, a criminal justice student from Jacksonville, talked about how effective this giveaway was.

“In my opinion, this giveaway was very effective because she was able to help those in need. She helped those who couldn’t find the items and those who couldn’t afford them. I was the driver for half of the experience and it was surprising how many stores we had to go to due to the lack of essential items,” she said.