WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. May 4, 2020 — Lots of people talk about gratitude for COVID-19 frontline workers, but few show it in such a real way as West Liberty University employee Bob Wise and his wife Janet, of West Liberty.
Bob works in the Information Technology Services Department and has been employed by WLU for more than 20 years. His wife is a former employee, and both are alumni.
Noticing the non-stop work of local grocery chain workers at Kroger, Wise and his wife took it upon themselves to feed the crew that provided them with groceries at the Mount de Chantal location.
“We decided to purchase dinner for the Kroger workers meeting our essential needs. I’m in there almost everyday so I feel like I know them and we just wanted to say thank you during this stressful time,” he explained.
He ordered rigatoni, meatballs, salad and cheesy bread from a local restaurant. He purchased and delivered enough to serve 75 -80 people, costing hundreds of dollars on Sunday, April 26.
“I figured a good way to say thanks was to feed them one day. Before this dinner we gave them Starbucks gift cards,” he added.
Bob got other employees in WLU’s Information Technology Services to kick-in and donate some money but the idea and biggest amount of dollars came from him and his wife.
“It really impressed me that Bob, who was willing to fund the effort himself, looked outside the many issues that the pandemic created for him and found a way to help others. I am gratified that his colleagues, without hesitation, supported his effort,” said Director of Information Services Joe Rodella.
“We do things like this all the time because it makes us feel good. We do all kinds of random acts of kindness. We’re not rich by no means but we have what we need and want to share with others,” he said.
Rodella thinks it’s a good example of how friendly the Hilltop campus is, “Bob made an effort to reach out to one of our neighbors, and that’s what we should all do.”