UConn Magazine: Local Hero

Louis Goffinet ’17 (CLAS) offered in a Facebook post to shop for elderly neighbors. Two months later he was still shopping, and overseeing a $30,000 Neighbors Grocery Fund.

UConn alumn putting bags of groceries into car trunk.

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.

Read on for more.