GAITHERSBURG, Md. (FOX 5 DC0 - The generosity is amazing to see this time of year. Food drives and giveaways are being held across the D.C. region as Thanksgiving approaches.
In Montgomery County, one Gaithersburg mom really stands out.
Jessica Berrellez has come up with idea after idea to help her community. She’s the PTSA president at Ridgeview Middle School.
FOX 5 reported a few months ago when she started "Desks by Dads" –– getting local men to create at home learning spaces for kids. They’ve supplied more than 250 free desks and counting.
Berrellez also helped set up an emergency food pantry at Ridgeview and has been organizing food drives in the area for the past eight months.
During Tuesday’s Thanksgiving meal giveaway, some families also received a donated bicycle. It’s Berrellez‘s latest brainchild.
She says some students haven’t been able to access the free lunches Montgomery County Public Schools supplies. Apparently, they don’t have a way to get there and she’s concerned about food insecurity.
“You can imagine if a student has a small window during lunch hour it might be challenging to walk two miles,” says Berrellez.
She recruited local dad, Robb Hampton, to help after he was laid off during the pandemic. They’re calling the effort “Bobcat Bikes” after the Ridgeview mascot and have fixed up and given away nearly 20 bikes in just the past few weeks. They say it’s also important to keep kids moving.
“I can’t believe it. Like, even during the pandemic when there's a bike shortage, that people are going into their garages and dusting them off, bringing them over to my house and my garage has sort of turned into a makeshift bike shop,” says Hampton.
If you are in need of help or would like to participate, Berrellez says to reach out via Facebook.