Public employees across the nation give back to their communities in extraordinary ways every single day. From donating to food banks to helping their neighbors and protecting their communities, public employees have always been there when their communities need them the most.

‘Mali deserves to go to Disneyland’: A community is working to get an 8-year-old girl battling cancer to Disneyland by Chris Latella. In late 2018, eight year old Mali Maltos was diagnosed with Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor, a rare form of cancer. After over nine months of treatments and surgeries, Mali and her family were approached by Make A Wish, who were happy to help Mali realize her dream of going on a Disney cruise. Then COVID-19 happened, and as Mali’s condition continued to deteriorate, any chance of a cruise became unrealistic. That’s when Candace Greene, an art teacher at Mali’s school, decided to step in. “Mali deserves to go to Disneyland,” said Greene. “She deserves to meet the characters that she wants to meet. She has been through so much, so I decided to start a GoFundMe to make her wish come true.” Greene hopes that funding the trip through GoFundMe will give the family the flexibility it needs to go when Mali is feeling better. “She needs to get some more strength up to be able to go and really enjoy herself,” said Greene. “So, doing her wish this way and through GoFundMe lets mom be able to take her when she’s feeling good, and she can really enjoy it.”

Mass. teacher starts fundraiser for EMS providers working COVID-19 testing site by Douglas Hook. After seeing American Medical Response personnel remain professional in the face of mistreatment by those they were trying to test for COVD-19, Carol Forward, an East Longmeadow High School music teacher, took to Facebook. In the East Longmeadow community Facebook page, Carol asked for donations to ensure that each of the workers and paramedics working at the testing center were able to have a hot meal before each shift. “I was just so impressed with the professionalism and the positivity of the workers,” said Forward. “To have to deal with what they’re dealing with was just difficult for me to watch. I felt awful for them… [They] are out in the cold all day. Who knows what they’re able to grab before they head in. So, if I could give them a healthy breakfast quickly in the morning, I just thought it would be a nice little thank you.”

Be sure to check back the week after next for more stories of public employees giving back to their communities!