As he sat at home because of the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak, Bobby Voth '22 felt an urge to help others.
The sophomore rugby player brainstormed with his dad, Bob '88, on ways to help others during this time of need.
So, Bobby and his father hatched the idea of feeding healthcare professionals on the front lines of the crisis, supporting both Ohio City Burrito and Lutheran Hospital. In this way, Voth could help a local small business and a local hospital with brave essential employees.
The Voths are not "sit around and wait" people, so right away, Bobby and his dad got to work. They created a GoFundMe page, prepared a video message, and contacted both OCB and Lutheran to be sure the idea could be executed.
"The idea stems from the ideals of Saint Ignatius: Giving back and being Men for Others," Voth said. "That's what's driven me. We're trying to be generous however and whenever we can. We can't always help in-person in the way we're used to, but we can help indirectly."
Once Voth confirmed the idea with OCB and Lutheran Hospital, he set the wheels in motion. He and his dad set a goal of $2,000 on GoFundMe, enough to feed 300 healthcare workers. They sent the link out on social media, getting the ball rolling.
Immediately, Voth received positive feedback from friends, family, and members of the community. Folks from all over offered their help to the cause. And the money started to come in.
Within a couple of days, the $2,000 goal was reached. In the spirit of "Magis," Voth decided to do more. After consulting with Ohio City Burrito and Lutheran Hospital, Voth increased the goal to $3,000, which he soon reached.
"It's phenomenal. It's great to see how people have received it," Voth said. "In times of need, people step up," Voth said. "It's amazing to see other people help. It gives you hope, and it inspires me to do more."
This Friday, Voth and Ohio City Burrito delivered meals to the healthcare workers at Lutheran Hospital. In the next week or so, he'll deliver more meals from OCB.
It was a moment fitting of the Jim Skerl '74 quote, 'An Ignatius education does not exist to make you better than everyone else; it exists to make you better for everyone else."
"With Saint Ignatius and how they instill faith into you, you're put onto Earth for others," Voth said. "If everyone tried to help each other, the world would be a better place. It's easy to see what impact you can make on the wolrd. Something like this is so simple – everyone can go do this and set up GoFundMe. You just need to grab hold of it, and put effort into it. I've seen God in this operation so many times. The amount of people trying to help and seeing the donations flow in is amazing."
His teachers and coaches could not be more proud of Voth for putting his faith into action.
"It's such a difficult time for so many people and families. I'm really proud of Bobby for living the mantra of Men for Others," said Dan Arbeznik '00, Wildcats' head rugby coach and Latin teacher. "I love that he got creative and is helping two Ohio City entities with one initiative. It's great to see kids go the extra mile to support the community even when school is not in session."
For Voth, this is just the start of his journey. He hopes to do this again. He'll be keeping the GoFundMe page active, looking into other ways to help the community.
Inspired by his dad, Voth is also in the process of creating a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Ruggers for Others. Voth hopes to utilize the Saint Ignatius rugby program to solicit donations from retailers and people in order to create gift bags for members of the community in need. The gift bags would include food, clothing, hygiene products, and other necessities.
"It feels amazing to see everyone come together," Voth said. "I want to keep that going. I've always been a go-getter, but my dad has inspired me to do more. This feels quite amazing, and it's made me so happy. It's inspired me to want to do more."