WEST CHESTER (July 6, 2021) – More than three tons of food and nearly $7,500 were collected for Chester County families in need in the name of Bianca Roberson, a local teenager whose life was cut tragically short by an act of hate and gun violence in 2017.
The Daisies for Bianca: Spread the Love project, organized by Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the Bianca Nikol Merge with Mercy Foundation, and the Chester County Food Bank, was a resounding success thanks to the generosity of individuals, students, families, organizations, and businesses across the region.
On Monday, June 28, four years to the day that Bianca passed away, organizers and partners joined with Bianca’s mother and grandmother in personally delivering the donations to the Chester County Food Bank.
“This helps me breathe a little easier and stand a little taller today,” Bianca’s mother, Michelle Roberson, said. “Bianca put other people first. That is who she was and how she lived her life. I am so thankful for the community coming together and people remembering. People have not forgotten.”
Lauren Fosbenner, said was driven work with Mom’s Demand Action in the wake of the shooting that claimed Bianca’s life and inspired to help spearhead the Daisies for Bianca effort by the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
With little-to-no experience in fundraising or running a food drive, Daisies for Bianca set out to collect donations that would provide approximately 1,500 meals to our community.
That goal was exceeded nearly tenfold with food and financial donations that will provide meals to more than 10,000 families.
State Senator Carolyn Comitta, who served as Michelle’s state representative at the time of the tragedy and got to know her in the aftermath, said she was grateful to see the outpouring of community support.
Michelle currently works with Comitta’s office as a Constituent Services Specialist and the office hosted a donation box and supported additional outreach efforts.
“I’m grateful to be a part of Daisies for Bianca, grateful to live in a community where we remember each other and we care about each other, and grateful to learn more about Bianca and her life through efforts like this,” she said. “The food drive technically ended in June, but residents are still showing up with donations. My staff members have had friends and neighbors drop off donations at their homes. People remember, they care, and they want to do something to help.”
In addition to Comitta’s office, donation boxes were placed throughout the region, including West Goshen Shopright, West Goshen Police, the three West Chester Area School high schools, the office of state Rep. Christina Sappey and others.
Volunteers also made and distributed more than 1,000 purple pipe cleaner daisies – a symbol of love in Bianca’s favorite color – to each person who made a donation.
“We are truly honored to have a part in remembering Bianca Nikol Roberson, said Andrea Youndt, CEO of the Chester County Food Bank. “Bianca’s spirit of helping others lives on through the gift of service to our community.”