Shaker and Shen students step up to help others

Kumi Tucker
Updated: May 25, 2020 07:30 PM
Created: May 25, 2020 06:27 PM

COLONIE - Supplies are scarce at the food pantry at Shaker High School in Colonie, just as the need is even greater. 

"We are in desperate need of help because we usually have so many events at school and fundraisers and food drives - and due to the current situation, we haven't been able to do those events that we're so used to having," said Shaker junior Mikayla Brunell.  

When school was open, the food pantry served about 50 students and their families. 

Brunell is ambassador to the student government. They would stay after school once a week to pack bags to go. 

Now, in an effort to restock that pantry, they started a GoFundMe, which soon collected almost $8,000.

Over in Clifton Park, a Shen student is busy at her sewing machine. 

"I just started making masks for my family and then my mom posted on Facebook that I made masks for my family and people started asking for them," said Shen sophomore Kelly Westervelt.  

She has made, and given away, hundreds of masks.

She spends at least three hours at her machine every day. 

Sewing is her passion. 

When people insisted on paying for her masks, she asked for gift cards for more supplies.

"I realized that the more I get donations, I can get more fabric at JoAnn's and more fabric, I can donate more masks to people who need them and more places that need them," she said. 

Some young people are eager to help. It's a bright spot in these difficult and uncertain times. 

"We understand it's difficult to live in these situations as is, and being hungry can create so much more stress," said Mikayla Brunell.

"It's nice to know that what we can do - we can make a difference during times like these."

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