Los Altos teenager Sanay Jiandani organized a charity campaign over the summer, collecting clothes, shoes and hygiene products for those in need.
Sanay, 13, an eighth grade student at Kennedy Middle School in Cupertino, called the reader “Influential Essentials” because he believes that the right help can influence the life of a disadvantaged person.
With the help of his friend Anay Shah, 14, a resident of Los Altos and a freshman at St. Francis High School, Sanay collected 600 shirts and blouses, 300 pairs of pants and over 100 pairs of shoes, plus of bags, ties, underwear. and hygiene items.
The other Sanay Scouts of Troop 75, as well as Deputy Scout Leader Leela Suppiah and the Troop’s Creston Community Leader, Pat Musachia, lent a hand.
Sanay has identified three charities that align with its mission to help underserved people – Vietnam Veterans of America, Dress for Success and Soles4Souls. The organizations support ex-combatants, empower women and help children in Africa, respectively.
Sanay and Anay created a website for the charity campaign and, with the help of their families, spread the word through Nextdoor, social media and other friends and family.
“People have been very generous with their donations and we have practically had a constant flow of donations throughout the summer,” said Kavita Jiandani, Sanay’s mother. “Sanay was delighted that the entire garden shed was filled with clothes. “
Given the number of donations collected, Sanay worked with his Scout leaders to turn the sorting and packaging of all contributions into a service project.
“More than a dozen children gathered on a Saturday afternoon to sort, package and label all the goods collected,” Kavita said. “Together, they packed nearly 30 boxes. “
Inspired to help
Before the pandemic, Sanay said he would visit San Francisco and see people living on the streets, and that made him sad.
“With lots of free time, I was like, ‘Hey, why can’t I help them? “Also, when I went to volunteer at soup kitchens, they would talk about how hard they were getting meals,” he said. “In Los Altos, we’re really in a kind of bubble; we don’t see a lot of homeless people.
Although the training was successful, Sanay and Anay had to overcome a few obstacles.
“COVID was a problem, and to get around it I had a contactless deposit with signs and boxes, which I checked two to three times a week for donations,” Sanay said.
Anay added that the overall process was not too difficult, but some of the logistics were a bit complicated, including selecting the charities and determining which clothes would be accepted by the different agencies.
“Before I did that, I was like, ‘This is going to take a long time. It’s going to take a lot of work. And I don’t think I’m ready to do it, ”Anay said. “But when I did it once, I realized it wasn’t that hard. As long as you have a good support group, lots of good friends, and people who are willing to give, all you have to do is put it together and it will work on its own.