While some children are texting and tweeting, she is on the go, raising money for those in need. When others are playing video games, she is brainstorming new initiatives to help pets in need of medical attention. While some sit on the sidelines watching and waiting, she is actively participating and making a difference.
Meet Danielle Schuster, 13, of Northfield. A true standout in our community, and the first-ever to be honored as a Junior Member of the Shore Auxiliary.
The Auxiliary of Shore Medical Center has been raising funds for Shore Medical Center for over 70 years. But never before has someone like Danielle captured their attention. "This is the first time in our history that we have come across someone of Danielle's age who has such a commitment to our community," said Heidi Angelastro, Chairperson - Auxiliary Executive Board. "It is our pleasure to show our appreciation for her dedication by honoring Danielle as a Junior member of the Auxiliary."
In 2015, she raised $1,233 for The Carole Schiavo Kid's Swim for Health - held at the MRA in Linwood - by appealing to her teachers, swim coaches and local businesses, such as Ventura's, Rose's Garden Grille and Bayview Garden Center for support. This after previously raising $1,202 for the event. Danielle, a member of the Egg Harbor Township "Seahawks" swim team swam an incredible 256 laps in just under two hours for this event.
"I am so impressed with her great work ethic that enabled her to swim all those laps, and it's been incredible hearing how much money she has raised for our local hospital," said Mike Schiavo, Swim coach at the MRA and son of Carole Schiavo. "This year, after she completed her laps, she volunteered to help count for the younger MRA swimmers who were on their own missions to swim many laps for this great cause. This shows that Danielle has a big heart and is not only excited to work hard to achieve her own goals, but to help others achieve their goals too."
Her proud mother Dawn said that giving back has long been a part of her family's philosophy, starting with donating clothes and toys as Danielle outgrew them. It's clear that the philanthropic spirit runs deep in Danielle's heart. "Giving back to the community is very important to me, and I like to incorporate this I like to do - like swimming - into my fundraising campaigns.," said Danielle. "One of my personal favorites was when I was watching TV and saw a show about a cat who was rescued in a fire and needed a pet oxygen mask to survive. I said to myself, I have to make sure our town has these." Thanks to her efforts at the Northfield Night out, she raised enough to purchase 2 sets of oxygen masks for cats and dogs."
The Auxiliary of Shore Medical Center is Shore’s original fundraising organization. Part of the Shore Medical Center Foundation, the Auxiliary is made up of dedicated volunteers who work throughout the year on initiatives that include the hospital gift shop, thrift shops, golf tournaments and other community events. The Auxiliary has raised more than $11 million for Shore Medical Center, including $485,000 in 2014. For more information, please contact the Shore Medical Center Auxiliary at 609-653-4646.
Pictured above: Danielle Schuster receives Junior Auxiliary recognition from Heidi Angelastro, Chairperson - Auxiliary Executive Board.