By: Camryn Ragland ’18 & Alexandra Sprouls ’19
The Al’s Angels club at Staples, created by Bridget French ’18 is a club that allows students to help families with children suffering from cancer in Fairfield County.
“Al’s Angels is a Westport-based charity that helps children and their families facing cancer, rare blood diseases, natural disasters and that are going through severe financial hardships” French said.
The foundation provides a new hope for families in need.French has extended that outreach to the Staples community. The club shines a new light on issues students didn’t know existed among the sanctuary in Fairfield County.
“I created it [Al’s Angels Club] my sophomore year so this will be its second year at staples, previously people have tried to run the Al’s Angels club here but they fell short in keeping it alive. I expect to keep it going through my senior year and then pass it on.” French said.
Al DiGuido, the charity’s founder, first created the program over 20 years ago as a way to provide joy and comfort to local families that are challenged with childhood diseases and the finances surrounding it. DiGuido has helped thousands of children in the tri-state area with receiving lifesaving medical help.
“We can always use more angels…there is such need in our world for those who will spend time giving back and helping those in need. I am especially excited to have young people like yourselves involved in the organization. You are the leaders of today and tomorrow” DiGuido said.
DiGuido created his foundation soon after learning about the hardships families suffer when having a child with cancer.
He attended a charity event for the purpose of collecting football autographs, but upon arriving, heard the stories of families with childhood cancer who couldn’t adequately provide for their families with necessities like food, clothing, and gifts for the holidays.
“I was so moved by their stories… that I was compelled to take action. Als’s Angels was born that night” DiGuido shared.
Bryn Reilly ’18 has been a part of the Al’s Angels club since its first year and is proud of all the work the club does to help families and children battling cancer.
“I had fun doing it [an event] because I was with a bunch of friends and I met new people and at the same time was helping people who need it.” Reilly said when reflecting on her time at the Thanksgiving meal assembly where they packed food for families who couldn’t afford nice meals.
There are many events to participate in such as the Christmas and Thanksgiving meal assemblies, Thanksgiving Day toy drive and Angel Aid (lemonade stands) in the spring. These events are put into action through the hard work and diligence of DiGuido and his ‘angels’.
“I wish that we didn’t have to do this work. I pray for the end to childhood cancer. I pray that
no child or family needs to endure this pain and suffering. Until that day happens… all of us at
Al’s Angels are committed to doing all that we can for as long as we can to provide love and moments of joy in the lives of those in desperate need.” DiGuido said, outlining the charity’s mission.