By Caitlin Morris | The Saratogian
When one local family heard the news of the Boston Marathon bombings, their immediate reaction was to help, and that help came in the form of a grilled cheese sandwich.
Thanks to the generosity of the Carroll family, Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese food truck in Boston supplied hundreds of grilled cheese sandwiches at no cost to the doctors, first responders and emergency workers who worked to safeguard the streets of Boston in the days following the bombings and to treat victims.
David Carroll, a Boston native who resides in Saratoga Springs with his wife, Shannan, and their four young children, grew up going to the marathon. The attack hit close to home for him.
The day after the marathon, Carroll was reading an article online and a piece of the story caught his eye.
A food truck operating out of the city’s south end was giving food away to anyone who was hungry and in need. While the doors of almost all city businesses were shuttered, Roxy’s fleet of grilled cheese trucks was mobile, transporting toasty sandwiches from one block to the next.
Carroll sent James Di-Sabatino, one of the owners of Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, a message last Tuesday, asking what he could do to help. By Wednesday evening, a plan was in place.
“He’s a small business, he can’t be doing it all on his own, but he got it started. … And I said, let’s just keep this going, let me try to pay this forward,” Carroll said.
And forward it went. Di-Sabatino reported back to Carroll that he was able to provide hundreds of free sandwiches to hungry first responders for days.
While most of the city was at home watching the news, emergency workers were on duty around the clock without a break.
“The city was in turmoil,” Carroll said about the days immediately following the marathon. “Everyone was still shell-shocked, and these guys were out there just getting it done.”
Carroll was reluctant to go public with his act of kindness, initially turning down a request for an interview.
Over coffee Tuesday, though, Carroll said he only agreed to be interviewed because he wanted a chance to share the important role he feels compassion and empathy play in society. Carroll says it is especially important to pass that idea on to the younger generations.
“Having (my children) realize that things like this do help” was motivating, he said.
While he never imagined something like the marathon bombings would happen in Boston, he believes the city will bounce back.
“I think it’s made that city stronger, I think it’s made the people there stronger, more resilient,” Carroll said. “And it’s a testament to the folks — the doctors and the emergency workers — how they came together and did such amazing things.”