Just a little change can make a big difference.
Maspeth residents and students joined together at the TD Bank branch located at 73-55 Grand Ave. on Friday to donate their loose change to help Mairani Portilla, a fourth-grader at P.S. 58 in Maspeth who was recently orphaned.
Portilla’s parents came to the U.S. to provide their daughter with a better life. Since that time, Portilla has lost both of her parents to cancer. In order to avoid being placed in the foster care system, Portilla is staying with her aunt, whom event organizers said has a limited income.
After hearing of Portilla’s story, TD Bank sent a proposal to set up a donation to help raise funds for Portilla and her family. The store was selected to host one of TD Bank’s 500 “Green Fridays” where they asked customers to donate their loose change at their Penny Arcade as part of their Bring Change campaign.
From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 11, TD Bank collected $1,342.54 from generous customers. TD Bank also donated an additional $2,000 to Portilla and her family, bringing the total donation amount to $3,342.54.
Robert Dworniczak, vice president and store manager of the TD Bank Store, presented Portilla a check for the donated amount.
“I am so lucky to live in Maspeth, in such a loving community. Also I want to thank my caring school family and my real family for helping me during this very hard time in my life,” Portilla said. “With this gift, I will be saving it for college. I know my mommy is looking down on me and is very proud of me and the people around me. Thank you very much.”