ASHBURN, Va. (ABC7) — Esha Venkat and her sister Shreyaa pack hundreds of blessing bags for the homeless throughout the year.
“We want to really be that family for both the people we serve and the people involved in our community service,” said 16-year-old Shreyaa.
Through their non-profit NEST4US the Broad Run High School students have worked with hundreds of volunteers to serve more than 12,000 homeless people. Every bag they pack comes with an expression of encouragement.
“We love you, we care for you, stay strong, and know you’re loved, you’re not alone, after a storm comes a rainbow, and we wanted to include those notes because words have a huge impact in people‘s lives,” 13-year-old Esha said.
In the three years since it started, NEST4US has had a big impact too; providing toiletry and food bags as well as tutoring services and free school supplies for low-income students. These efforts have brought recognition in the form of awards, a scholarship, even a Virginia House Bill for outstanding service.
What motivates the honor roll students who also play travel soccer, pursue martial arts, and engage in other extracurricular activities to keep giving?
“You just get that feeling of pride and I’m doing something good for others. That’s huge and I just want everyone to experience that,” said Shreyaa.
Major corporations are also recognizing the Venkat's charitable contributions. On September 16 Shreyaa will be in California participating in the #Digital4Good event at Facebook headquarters.