Himnish Jindal: Upper El Community Service Project

Nicole Manny
Our recent alumnus, Himnish Jindal, organized a successful community service project making and delivering 150 reusable masks to the homeless in Boston! Read all about the project in his own words.

My Community Service Project
by Himnish Jindal
For my community service project, I chose to make face masks for people that live in a senior center across the street. I had heard on the news about COVID-19 and how seniors were more vulnerable to this virus than other people. Later, I realized that there were people even more vulnerable to COVID-19 than seniors: the homeless. Why? Because seniors had an essential resource that homeless people didn’t. This resource was money. Did you know that most people living in poverty only have about $5.50 to live off of each day? That’s $5.50 to buy food and water for the whole day. If they have money left, they definitely won’t have enough to buy a mask, making them extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. I felt that there was a greater need to give masks to people living in poverty.
Making the Masks
I had a goal of giving out 150 face masks. But first, I had to make them! I needed to buy some fabric. My parents took care of that and also bought a sewing machine. I put an article in The Montessori Times asking people to help make masks. Unfortunately, I did not receive word that anyone had stepped up to help. But that didn’t discourage me. We now had everything we needed. We cut up the fabric, washed it, and dried it. Then, I started making masks. At first, it was a bit challenging, but I soon got the hang of it. In about two weeks, I had made 150 masks. But it wasn’t over yet. We washed and dried the masks again and then put two masks in each Ziploc bag. Now we had to hand them out. Turns out that is easier said than done.

Donating the Masks
When my dad and I drove to Boston the first time to give away the masks, we weren’t that familiar with the area and didn’t really know what to do. We decided to drive around the area handing out the packets of masks to every homeless person we saw. After a few trips to Boston, we hadn’t given out that many masks. We realized we needed to create something eye-catching, telling people we were giving away masks. I created a banner for us to put on our car. After many visits to Boston, we were able to donate all 150 masks that we made. I felt so good after handing out each packet, knowing we had helped another person.