Dante Giraldi, Class of 2017, is doing his part to give back to Molloy and other organizations during the COVID-19 crisis. "When my sophomore year at Villanova University wrapped up rather abruptly, I decided to reach out to faculty I know at Molloy. I quickly learned from Ms. Henning, a guidance counselor, that Molloy, being in Queens, had felt the effects of COVID-19," explained Dante. "I learned that current/former faculty members had lost their lives to this virus, and that a number of students had lost a loved one. These losses have led to not only emotional suffering, but also to financial struggles. I believe many Molloy families include hardworking, middle class immigrants. Considering that not every family could withstand these financial struggles, I reflected on how much Molloy had done for me and quickly decided to help in any way I could. I said to myself 'these kids cannot be deprived of the experience Molloy was able to provide me, because of a virus which wasn’t even their fault. These students should not have to withdraw. They have been through enough during this pandemic.”
Dante has since established a fundraising campaign called #CRUSHCOVID that will support several COVID-19-related response efforts, including at Molloy.
With a goal of $20,000, half of the total raised will be used to purchase supplies and food for first responders and essential workers. The remaining half will serve as financial aid to help students at Archbishop Molloy High School and soccer players from the Gottschee Soccer Club in Queens (the latter where Dante once played soccer). These funds will help students/players who may have lost a loved one or whose families may be experiencing significant financial hardship due to COVID-19. “I want to help hardworking teens stay enrolled at Molloy,” said Dante.
Dante recalled how Molloy has helped him. "I played soccer all four years at Molloy and I was part of the 2016 undefeated City Champions. In the championship I personally assisted the game-winning goal with 15.6 seconds left in second overtime. Off the field I was a Peer Group Leader, two-time Freshman Camp Counselor, Nationah Honor Society member, and Peer Tutor. These opportunities all helped me grow as a person and form a deeper connection with the school. I also made many lifelong friends at Molloy." Dante continued. "In my first year at Villanova (2017) I took a medical leave because I had a difficult time adjusting. I was distraught, depressed, and lost. I sought guidance at both Molloy and the Gottschee Soccer Club and was welcomed in with open arms. They helped me regain my confidence. Molloy even helped me earn an internship with Heisman and allowed me to help with Peer Group training. This showed me that Molloy would always support me through good times and bad. The school and the friends I made there played a massive role in lifting me out of my slump. I am thankful to Molloy for that everyday."
#CRUSHCOVID will end in late June, which will hopefully give Dante enough time to train for his big run. Dante will run anywhere from 1 to 26.2 miles as an added incentive to give and as a thank you to all donors. The run will be streamed live on social media (details to come).
If you would like to support Dante’s #CRUSHCOVID campaign, please visit the link below. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Dante for starting this important initiative and for helping Molloy students as part of his effort.
Dante also wanted to say a few words of thanks: "Thank you to Ms. Henning for helping me through this process and through my return to Villanova. Thank you to Mr. Klimas and Ms. Winters for helping me achieve an enjoyable high school career. Thank you to everyone at Molloy who played an influential role in each students' experience. I firmly believe that Molloy has its students' best interests at heart.....Not for school, but for life. That is why I'm driven to help other Stanners stay in school."