The good thing about the madness behind COVID-19 is that it’s giving people an opportunity to get creative and to also show kindness to others. That case is true for these two teens in Maryland!
Matthew Casertano and Dhruv Pai, sophomores at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, have developed a service project during their time away from school to help the elderly. Their newfound organization, Teens Helping Seniors, allows volunteers to go on grocery runs or other errands for seniors who are unable to do it themselves right now. Many are aware that the pandemic is seemingly more harmful to the elderly, so it’s been advised that they stay inside.
The teens developed the idea after going shopping for their own grandparents and then for some of their older neighbors. Neighboring areas heard word of what the teens were doing, and they quickly decided to branch out to help others. The teens soon recruited several volunteers from other private and public high schools in Maryland as well as Washington, DC. They are also recruiting college students to help as well.
With this project, all volunteers are careful to maintain social distance as well as care when shopping and delivering. They wear gloves while shopping, wipe down bags they are delivering, and offer curbside pickup when possible. Bags of goods are left at doors, and cash is exchanged the same way.
73-year-old Jimmy Kraft is one of those seniors whom Teens Helping Seniors has helped. The retired grandfather has been staying at home while raising his handicapped grandson. “This was tremendously helpful,” said Mr. Kraft. “It truly is so amazing that teenagers would spend their time helping one of the most vulnerable populations. I am very grateful for their help and hope that more kids will join them in their efforts.”
Matthew and Dhruv are also proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish. “It’s gone from extremely casual to extremely operational very quickly,” Matthew said. “This is one of those times I will remember that people are willing to look out for one another and have each other’s back.”
Honestly, this is something that can be impactful long after this pandemic is over. Kudos to these young men for seeing a need and stepping up to solve it!