On Wednesday Mitchell Wollen ‘22 found himself in the Connecticut House Chamber in Hartford being honored for his service work. He and his parents were invited by State Sen. Paul Cicarella (R-North Haven), and House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford).
They had heard of two service projects initiated by Wollen.
“We recently learned about your outstanding volunteer work by collecting donations in support of Connecticut veterans as well as your support of healthcare workers back in 2020. … We want to recognize your community involvement and your remarkable spirit to help those in need,” read the invitation.
Last summer Wollen built a stand for wood with “Wood For Warriors,” carved into the top. He sold $5 bundles. In mid-March he visited the Veterans Hospital in Rocky Hill, using the money raised to donate eights packs of bottled water, 400 Keurig cups for coffee, 30 gifts cards to Walmart for $10 each, and $200 in cash to the home. Previously he had donated $500 to the Navy Seals.
Wollen was a sophomore when the pandemic hit and closed schools in March 2020. Back then, he and his family built signs with red hearts that said “thank you” to all the healthcare and frontline workers. That effort raised thousands of dollars that turned into snacks and meals for all kinds of organizations in his hometown of Wallingford.
Wollen, who helped Xavier win two SCC swimming titles, will graduate May 23, and about a month later he will be in New York to start the next part of his life. He is attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“I came in here as a shy kid, reserved, and didn’t do much other than swim a lot, but Xavier opened my eyes to service and helping others, and here I am today,” Wollen said.