These Teens Are No Slackers When It Comes To Helping Others
When they heard the native people in their community were in desperate need of supplies during the coronavirus pandemic, they jumped into action.
While some folks spent their downtime during the Covid-19 quarantine to start a new hobby or embark on lofty home improvement projects, others used their time to help others.
That includes a group of teenagers in Phoenix who raised $16,000 to buy supplies for the Navajo Nation during the coronavirus pandemic.
This group of teens has raised over $16K to help get supplies to Native Americans in their community. @FundNavajo
After hearing about how Native Americans have been suffering from the virus at much higher rates, 17-year-olds Ben Richardson and Max Goldstein, 16-year-olds Caroline Purtill and Alex Goldstein, and 13-year old Sierra Goldstein decided to do join forces and do something about it.
"We were in quarantine and we didn't have a lot to do," Max Goldstein told AZCentral.com. "We wanted to help out our community in Arizona."
The group collected hygiene products, non-perishable food items, baby supplies, and dog food to donate to the Navajo Nation. @FundNavajo
The students started by reaching out to family and friends for donations. Then, they contacted the Navajo Nation to see what supplies they needed.
While the students weren't sure what to expect, they ended up getting hundreds of donations from $5 to $1000, an amount that Susan Purtill, Caroline's mother, said "became almost overwhelming."
"I'm just really proud of them," Purtill said. "For kids being at home this has been — I don't want to be overly dramatic — but it's been tough."
Along with food and other supplies, the group gathered over 1,000 hand-made masks from local churches and friends.@FundNavajo
Once they had enough donations, the group of high schoolers went on an epic, 8-hour Costco run to load up on cleaning supplies, hygiene products and non-perishable food items.
While the students said they were met with some "dirty looks" while shopping because people thought they were hoarding supplies, they later got a letter from the Navajo Nation attorney general to let the stores know they were donating the items. That allowed them to buy some materials in bulk, like hand sanitizer and bleach.
In addition to cleaning supplies, diapers, baby formula, groceries and pet food, the teens gathered over 1,000 masks from local churches and friends who made them by hand.
The students made their first delivery to a food distribution center at Window Rock, a nearby reservation, last week. They're hoping to use any leftover funds to pay for a tanker truck full of potable water so people on the reservation don't have to rely on bottled water.
The project has been a lot of hard work, but the group is thrilled to be making such a large impact.
Filling the u-haul for the first delivery tomorrow! #navajo https://t.co/LfBWStGSKb— Navajo Nation Supply Project (@Navajo Nation Supply Project)1590706742.0
"I think that when you hear these big numbers you don't really imagine individual persons, but I think it's important for people to remember that it's not just a statistic and that these are actually individual lives," Sierra Goldstein said.
Kudos to the teens for stepping up to help vulnerable members of their community, even when they were sheltering-in-place. Hopefully others will take their lead and do some good for those in their own backyards.
The teens made their first donation to a food distribution center at a nearby reservation on Friday. @FundNavajo