Duo hopes work will inspire others to help those less fortunate
Tiffany Battaglini-Leitner of Coraopolis (pictured above) along with Danielle Spisak donated much needed food and school supplies to the local food pantry.
By Chadwick Dolgos
In true holiday spirit, Sto-Rox alumni donations coordinator Danielle Spisak, surprised the borough of Coraopolis when she donated school supplies for Coraopolis Youth Creations (CYC) and food to the borough food pantry.
Spisak dropped off cereal and snacks Dec. 9 after seeing Tiffany Battaglini-Leitner’s post on Facebook setting a goal of collecting 200 boxes of cereal in two weeks for the food pantry.
“She surprised me the other day when she told me she was going to come out my way because she had a couple of things for me,” said Battaglini-Leitner, who serves as vice president for CYC.
Because of Spisak’s donation and others, Battaglini-Leitner was able to deliver, “enough cereal to fill two shelves at the food pantry, 40 boxes of pasta, 16 double boxes of Poptarts, and 12 individual packages of yummy chocolate chip cookies,” to the Coraopolis Food Pantry.
Spisak purchased most of the school supplies she donated to CYS herself, but also accepted donations from helpers in her neighborhood. “Children in my neighborhood also gave me folders for her,” she said.
While Spisak had intended to drop off the school supply donations earlier in the year, she explained that the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult. “Children were going virtual, so I just held everything and delivered yesterday.”
This isn’t the first time the dynamic duo has teamed up for the betterment of the community.
“[Tiffany] needed help, just like I did back in February,” said Spisak. “When I started, she was the first person to help me.”
She explained their relationship began when Sto-Rox was making headlines for a shortage of school supplies in the district. “I posted on Facebook asking if any Mckees Rocks businesses could donate paper to our students.”
Battaglini-Leitner was one of many who responded to Spisak’s call for help.
In February, Battaglini-Leitner called on the Coraopolis community for donations of school supplies for the Sto-Rox school district.
“I do a lot of work in the community where I’ll use my agency as a platform to run a food drive or something like that,” she said.
“So I thought, I’m going to create a supply drive to benefit the Sto-Rox School District.”
The Coraopolis supply drive successfully collected reams of paper, folders and pens for Sto-Rox. “We had a full SUV of stuff to deliver to their district,” Battaglini-Leitner said.
“She opened the front of her office to collect donations for our residents,” Spisak said. “She filled my whole trunk with supplies.”
When asked if the duo will ever join forces again, Battaglini-Leitner responded, “Of course if the need arises, I told her she can count on us.”
“We’ve just remained committed to helping one another since,” said Spisak. “We aren’t very special, just really trying to help out our communities, and together means stronger.”
The two hope that their work will inspire others to help those who are less fortunate in their communities.
“We’re blessed to bless, that’s the way I look at it,” said Battaglini-Leitner. “If God has blessed you, I think you have a responsibility to bless other people.”
Spisak hopes to continue to raise awareness and join forces with other members from surrounding communities. “We just need strength in numbers,” she said.
Donations for the Coraopolis Food Pantry are currently being accepted at Battaglini-Leitner’s insurance agency, 1108 5th Ave., Coraopolis, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.