- Shaivi Shah, 15, is putting together kits of hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, lotion, and reusable masks for homeless people in Southern California.
- She has made 150 kits with the help of her parents and classmates from her high school’s honour society.
- She donated the kits to the Family Assistance Ministry, Salvation Army, and Friendship Shelters, and has since started a GoFundMe in hopes of making kits nationwide.
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A 15-year-old girl in California is making sanitizing kits for homeless people in her area amid the worldwide novel coronavirus outbreak, and now she’s encouraging others to do the same.
Shaivi Shah, from Rancho Santa Margarita, California, recruited friends from her Tesoro High School honour society group to help her assemble 150 kits, which include hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, lotion, and reusable masks that she bought with her parents, according to CNN.
She then donated the kits to the Family Assistance Ministry, Salvation Army, and Friendship Shelters for distribution across Southern California.
Now Shah is turning to GoFundMe in hopes of expanding her project across all of California, and eventually nationwide.
“These people that are living on the streets, they have no protection, so even a small amount could help,” she told CNN.
Not only does Shah want to increase her kit production, she hopes people across the country follow suit and help others while facing the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“It’s important for people to step in and just do whatever they can, even if it helps just one person,” she told CNN.
Homeless experts told The Washington Post that homeless people are particularly vulnerable during the outbreak, due to their inability to self-quarantine and seek medical attention, as well as their limited access to cleaning facilities.
Many shelters, too, are struggling with resources and finding ways to reduce spread within their facilities.
“Congress is about to pass an emergency spending bill that entirely neglects the urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness,” Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told Washington Post. “Providing resources to protect against an outbreak of coronavirus among people who are homeless is not only a moral imperative, it’s an urgent public health necessity.”
Shah told CNN that while her project is small, it still has an opportunity to help people.
“Imagine yourself in their shoes, without a house, without clothes, without any sanitation,” she told CNN. “That will make you be grateful for what you have, and possibly donate and do something good for the other people.”
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