GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Parents have one more thing to worry about as the school year approaches. Whether classes are held in-person or remotely, students need supplies.
Many families just can’t afford the added expense right now, but two Long Island teens want to help, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Friday.
The two rising seniors at New Hyde Park Memorial High School aren’t shopping for themselves.
“This is a very troubling time for a lot of people,” said Saanvi Mirchandani. “Many people have lost jobs, many people have taken a very big economic hit.”
“We’ve been raised with the notion that education is everything, and school supplies are step one to having the things you need for a proper education,” said Khushi Shah.
They both know how costly back to school shopping can be.
“For me and my brother combined, the total for both of us could be easily around $300 to $400,” said Mirchandani.
Mirchandani and Shah recruited friends and family to help with the fundraising for Long Islanders struggling because of COVID-19.
“We thought, ‘OK, let’s make a GoFundMe. Let’s put it on our social media. Let’s ask our parents to put it on their social media,” said Shah. “And we didn’t expect this much support, but we eventually gained more than we ever dreamed.”
Donations for their cause came pouring in from as far away as India and Dubai.
Parents and siblings helped lug the hundreds of notebooks, backpacks, calculators, rulers, glue and crayons.
The savvy honors students used Staples store rewards and coupons.
The girls found a grateful home for their idea: the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island’s Friends of Children.
“It’s just an astonishing accomplishment,” said Jim LoPresti, from Ethical Friends of Children. “$5,000 worth of school supplies.”
On Sunday, the teens will bring the supplies to be distributed by nonprofits to needy families across Long Island.
“There’s no right age to start. Your entire life you’re preparing for who you want to be,” said Shah.
“It just feels really rewarding that we finally see the smile on all the kids’ faces,” said Mirchandani .
“If they’re the future,” LoPresti said, “we got nothing to worry about.”
The teens have been volunteering since they were in 7th grade. Both said they hope to pursue medical careers in college.