These Kids Are Creating Change in the Time of COVID-19

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We’ve seen some amazing creativity across the U.S. from individuals trying to make a difference in these uncertain times. Some of these people include younger generations of change-makers who didn’t let lockdown restrictions stand in the way of helping those in need. August is National Wellness Month, and CircleAround is proud to highlight children and teens who are using their talents to help their friends, family, and communities stay safe, healthy, and happy.

High Schoolers in Texas Are Creating Care Packages

When the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting her community, Shraavya Pydisetti knew she and her friends had the power to make a difference. She and six of her classmates created Project Querencia, which aims to help their community through service endeavors and purposeful initiatives. Part of their mission states, "It is our duty as high schoolers to understand...that we have the ability to create a positive impact and ensure a healthy result in our community." Their programs are multifaceted and designed to be as inclusive as possible based on interests and abilities. Some of these programs include creating care packages for essential healthcare workers; up-cycling clothing, furniture, and other items for refugees in their communities; tutoring; and serving as crossing guards to keep kids safe while out and about. 

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Carrollton Regional Medical Center 🏥 07/17/20 Our very first project as Project Querencia was a success! We set out to create care packages for the health care workers fighting on the frontlines during this pandemic. These packages included notebooks, artwork by @shraavya.pydisetti, cards that were handmade by kids, masks, gloves, baked goods, lotions, gums, pens, and chocolate! When deciding what to include, we though long and hard about what medical professionals would want and how we could provide things that would make their lives easier. We also wanted to put a smile on their face! The cards made by children in our neighborhood was the highlight as they showed how much these doctors and nurses were appreciated by people of all ages. These healthcare workers are not only the heroes to us at Project Querencia, but to everyone around the world. These packages was just our way of showing that their hard work was valued. We hope to continue to show healthcare workers and other essential worker that they are admired and respected for all that they do. 🟡 For more information about our organization, what we do, how to donate or how to join, please visit https://www.projectquerencia.org/ 🟡 . . . . #projectquerencia #volunteer #makingachange #nonprofit #volunteering #becomeamember #change #makingdifference #difference

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Teens in New Jersey Are Collecting School Supplies

August is back-to-school season for many kids in the U.S., but there are still a lot of question marks for students who spent their last few months of the previous school year learning online. While some school districts are preparing for classroom learning (modified for health and safety reasons), kids in New Jersey are preparing their fellow students for a new, unconventional school year. The STEP for a Better World club spent the summertime gathering essential school supplies, such as notebooks, pens, rulers, and more, to be donated to their community’s schools.

Headed up by high school senior Ananya Udyaver, the club is also raising funds to purchase new supplies for underprivileged families, or students who don’t feel comfortable doing their back-to-school shopping in stores because of the pandemic.

Kids in Brooklyn Are Learning Vital Business Skills

Before social distancing mandates went into effect for residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Make Manifest was a popular hangout for young people looking to explore their craftier sides. The Black-owned shop teaches sewing through their program, Black Girls Sew, art lessons, and more. They also held camps for kids throughout the year. CircleAround spoke with staff members and learned that, once they had begun making masks for their community to supplement PPE shortages, their sewing students wanted to get involved, as well.

The owners developed a youth entrepreneur program, providing a way for kids to feel enriched and occupied while they were out of school. Today, they offer kids and teens the chance to help their neighbors by assisting in the shop’s outdoor marketplace, where they learn business tactics, build customer relationships, and generate income through the masks and other crafts they’ve made.

High Schoolers Are Knitting Comfort Items in Chicago

High school student Michelle Zhu was well known within her community for her knitting skills. When hospitals began restricting visitation during COVID-19, she found a creative way to make a difference for those who couldn’t spend time with their loved ones. 

“I was hospitalized over a year ago, and the thing that got me through that stay was constant visitors,” Zhu told Chicago Parent in an interview. “But due to visiting restrictions surrounding COVID, hospital patients don’t have that luxury.” She began to knit gifts that she’d send to hospitals in her area, to bring a source of comfort to isolated patients. 

Soon after, her friends became interested in what she was doing, and she created her own charity, Knitting, ILY. Today, her team combines their crafty talents to make knitted and crocheted items that are donated to hospitals, elderly homes, and even dog shelters in the Chicago area. 

CircleAround is spotlighting some of our favorite Wellness Warriors for National Wellness Month, running all through the month of August.

Tags: Education, Navigating the Pandemic, Overcoming Adversity

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

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