Dylan and Eva Stepherson just wanted to do something somethingto lend a hand and show compassion for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seattle siblings did so much more.
Dylan, a junior at Garfield High School, and Eva, a freshman CARE-19, an organization they built from the ground up to produce and deliver care packs of groceries, health goods and other essentials to help people in their community cope with the crisis.
GeekWire has chosen Dylan and Eva as our Junior Geeks of May, a new monthly award from Northern Trustthat honors talented young innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest.
Like many of us, the adolescents were quarantined in March without knowing what to expect.
"We thought we would just relax," said Eva this week from home with her brother. "When we realized that this affected our entire community, we realized that it was a big deal."
The couple came up with the idea of care packages and initially sent an email to 60 friends and family members informing them of their plans and asking for financial donations to get the project started. Some of these people forwarded the request to organizations, which resulted in donations in kind.
Thin dipped 250 almond packages provided; Kaiser Permanente sent hundreds of gloves; Spray and Evergreen relaxation chipped in with face masks. The teenagers went elsewhere to get items like snack bars, disinfectant wipes, vitamin C packs, tea, and more.
CARE-19 has decided to address people in low-income homes who may have a particularly difficult time due to social distancing measures. They formed a partnership with Plymouth housing and Langdon & Anne Simons Senior Apartments to make sure the packages they put together got the right doors.
"We both wanted to be able to help those who need them," said Dylan. "And we knew we had the ability and the resources to do it."
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Dylan and Eva have so far raised more than $ 5,000 and delivered 200 CARE-19 packages, 100 of which are ready for use. You are still looking for funds On the website that they built together, they recently put together CARE-19 backpacks full of goods to distribute to homeless people.
It is volunteering that Dylan is familiar with.
"I worked in grocery kitchens and some other places," said Dylan. "And me and my mother do that count a night Walk around here every year and count the homeless so they have a broader idea of how many homeless people are in King County. "
As with children everywhere, the health crisis has thrown normal routines out the window for Dylan and Eva. They miss school, meet up with friends and do the activities they normally do, such as sports.
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They both take some of their classes online – "it's not the same as being there" – and Dylan, who thinks he'd like to go to the University of Oregon after high school, said he was about to enter a coding class than that School was closed. He also said he was a typical 17-year-old who likes to play video games.
And the brother-and-sister duo (who has become a business partner) said that they get along well despite spending so much time together. They clearly take care of each other, the strangers they help and the project they have undertaken.
"I think it helped both of us to recognize the importance of giving something back and trying to help others," said Dylan. "Just smiling at one person is a great thing and we need more of it, especially at a time like this."
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GeekWire will include a new Junior Geek of the Month in profiles designed to track how they want their geek activities to have a positive impact on the world. In addition, they receive special recognition from our project partner Northern Trust.
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