During the darkest days of the pandemic, Amanda DeRosa was heartened by regular trips to Starbucks.
With several health issues, the 37-year-old Westporter used the drive-thru. She got to know one of the regular order takers.
“She’s so lively and bubbly,” Amanda says. “She’s spunky and young. I’d think about her while I was waiting to pick up my order. She made me feel secure.”
At the drive-thru window, Amanda adds, “she wore a mask. But I could see the smile in her eyes.”
Recently, Amanda noticed the woman was pregnant. But when Amanda congratulated her, she looked sad.
Amanda wanted to help. She asked for the woman’s phone number; a tear rolled down her cheek.
They began texting. Amanda learned her new friend lives in a Bridgeport studio apartment. She has a 3-year-old son, and a longtime partner. When she was 12, her mother died. She’s struggling.
She’s been at Starbucks more than 3 years, and hopes for a promotion.
“This is a dig-her-heels in woman. She works hard for her family,” Amanda says.
The Westporter wanted to offer more than encouragement. When her own son was born, she was registered with Buy Buy Baby. Suddenly, she had an idea: collect donations, and present the woman with a gift card.
“I want her to have the joy of walking into the store with her partner, and pick out the stroller, car seat, crib, bassinet, toys, books and formula they need,” Amanda says.
She put the word on social media last night. As of this morning, grateful Starbucks customers — and those who do not even know the woman — had contributed $440.
Amanda hopes for much more. She’s cleared her own personal Venmo account. All donations (Venmo: @AmandaDeRosa) will go directly to the woman. (To ease concerns, Amanda will send “06880” a screen shot of the balance, plus the gift card receipt.)
Amanda will present Westport’s gift to the woman on Monday. (She knows she’s getting something, but has no idea what.) A florist — who did not want to be named — will contribute a bouquet, to accompany the gift card.
“We’re all human beings,” Amanda says.
“We all do what we can, with what we have. This is a wonderful woman, someone in need. I’m proud of how this great community is helping her.”