Philly Proud: New Jersey special education teacher helps students during pandemic

EWING TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Patrick Jones is a first year special education teacher at Fisher Middle School in Ewing Township, New Jersey. After hearing of just one student who didn't have food or internet during the pandemic, Jones stepped up to help.

"I posted on social media about some families that I knew they were struggling to ask for donations," he said.

One Facebook post, quickly turned into Ewing's Helping Hands, which now helps over 35 families each week with food and other essentials.

"I thought maybe five or six people would donate and we would help just a few families but I got flooded with donations," he said.

Jones said his mom Debbie got involved too.

"It all started with one text from the teacher...we were running this all out of our house at one time. Our neighbors dropped stuff off...the UPS guy hates us I think and Amazon. They're here all the time," she said.

Debbie Jones said those they've helped are now giving back.

"The people we give to, like some people have been on the list, and you know they got their unemployment or are financially a little bit better...everybody that we give to they always say when we get this straightened out, we want to give back and help somebody else, and that's the beauty of it, you know, pay it forward," she said. "Other people do need people and need each other's help here every day, if in a small way or a big way it doesn't matter. Together everybody's making a difference."
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