Local Hero


The job Louis Goffinet ’17 (CLAS) loves having so much right now — not the full-time job teaching science to eighth graders and coaching soccer in Lebanon, Connecticut, or the part-time job as a weekend and evening facilities supervisor at Mansfield Community Center, where he’s worked since high school (he loves those, too) — but the volunteer job. That one wasn’t intentional. “My dad volunteered me,” he says, “which was generous of him.”

Goffinet was happy to do the grocery shopping for their elderly neighbor, who was worried about exposure to Covid-19. After a couple trips, he posted on the Mansfield Connection Facebook page offering to shop for other elderly neighbors. He got dozens of takers, including a mom who said she wasn’t in his intended demographic, but her young family was having a tough time. Both she and her husband had been laid off and, since her husband had medical issues, she didn’t want to risk trips to the store, and the delivery service fees were becoming too much. Could he make a trip for them? Of course, Goffinet shopped for the family, but he also posted on Facebook, asking if anyone wanted to help pay for this particular food run.

In an hour he had the $200, and 7 weeks later his Neighbors Grocery Fund has $30,000 and countless grateful neighbors. Most grateful perhaps? “These twins, 7- or 8-year-olds, they were almost crying, squealing, jumping up and down when they saw the Cheez-its in my bags,” says Goffinet, who can relate. “I remember having very specific cereals I liked as a child.” So on the form for the funds, knowing parents will focus on need, he asks what their children’s favorite snack foods and cereals are. “I always get something that’s more about making them happy. That’s important, too.


Check out the Daily Campus story on Louis or on the UConn 360 Podcast.


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