NJ surgeon who recovered from COVID-19 shaves head to benefit food bank

A South Jersey surgeon who has recovered from COVID-19 organized a fundraiser to benefit a local food bank.

News 12 Staff

Apr 9, 2020, 1:40 AM

Updated 1,562 days ago

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A South Jersey surgeon who has recovered from COVID-19 organized a fundraiser to benefit a local food bank.
Moorestown surgeon James Sanfilippo has shaved his head, but it wasn’t out of boredom from being in 21 days of quarantine. The father of two did it as a celebration for being two and a half weeks into recovery from the virus.
“During that time I had the fevers, chills. Just rolling over in bed I would get short of breath,” he says.
Sanfilippo says that while he was recovering, he wanted to give back. His family chose the Food Bank of South Jersey in Pennsauken and set up a GoFundMe page for the effort.
“The kids need haircuts. There’s no barbershops or salons open right now, so why not trim the kids’ hair, shave their heads. Shave your own head and whatever you would normally pay a barber, that can go to the GoFundMe page,” Sanfilippo says.
The family says that when they started a fundraiser, they thought they would raise only a few hundred dollars. But the GoFundMe is currently sitting at more than $16,000.
The food bank organizers say that they are thankful after seeing a 200% increase in food bank needs.
“We’re not only seeing families that we’ve been serving month-to-month in our pantries and our hope mobiles, but we’re seeing additional families that unfortunately are a paycheck away from rent, from mortgage, from food,” says food bank president and CEO Fred Wasiak.
But beyond the fundraiser, Sanfilippo says that he wants to make people smile.
“The videos that I’ve gotten from people, the pictures that I’ve gotten from other people – the smiles, the laughing and joking around. If this five or 10 minutes of shaving a head gives them five or 10 minutes of a break from this, that also is doing a tremendous amount of good,” he says.
Everyone is invited to donate to the effort – whether they shave their heads or not.


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