Three Lakeside High teens start a nonprofit to help the homeless

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Evans, Ga (WJBF)- Most summer activities for kids were cancelled this year because of the pandemic. But some local high school students found a unique way to keep busy.

Many teenagers go on vacation or to camp during the summer, but this year that wasn’t in the cards. Three rising Lakeside seniors decided to use their summer to help the less fortunate.

Shivum Lal is the co-founder of Aid for the Remade. In fact, the idea was his. He said that he goes to Chicago every year to visit and that he sees the homeless there and noticed that they are largely ignored.

“You just walk past homeless people and that’s become the norm and I don’t think that’s right. So in the Augusta area we have around five to seven hundred displaced persons at a given time, and I really think we should try to bring that number down and everyone should try to do their part to try and get them off the streets,” Lal explained.

Lal and his friends Praynay Patel and Preetam Jain started “Aid For The Remade” –a nonprofit that collects monetary donations to purchase personal hygiene products and prepackaged food items to distribute to the homeless. They say that they are lucky and they felt it was important to give back.

Jain said that he feels that if you have the means, then there is no reason not to your part to help those less fortunate. He also said that people should realize that many people who are homeless aren’t on the streets because they want to be.

“But you need to realize that you have a debt you owe to the community that you’re in, no matter what. If you live in America, you’re privileged enough to have the benefits of living in such a great nation,” said Jain.

The young men say that they are close to their goal–which will allow them to make their first purchases to help the homeless in Richmond and Columbia Counties.

Praynay Patel was brought into the nonprofit a month after the other teens had the idea. He says that they have been working hard to do their research on nonprofits and to raise money to get started. They spoke with a lawyer to help them get their nonprofit status and are waiting for their 501c3 to be approved so that they can do more.

“Well we’ve kinds been raising money through online mostly. We’ve gotten a couple of donations in person. Right now we’re at fifteen hundred dollars and our first goal is seventeen hundred, which will allow us to make one hundred and forty four bags,” said Patel.

Ray Reynolds is the Pastor at Building Worship Center where one of their main ministries is working with the homeless. The teens reached out to him him for help when they are ready to start distributing. Reynolds says that care packages like these are much needed.

“But to see some teenagers on their own come up with this, its just such a blessing,” said Reynolds.

NewsChannel 6’s Kim Vickers wanted to know “For the people receiving these packages, what does it mean to them?”

“That someone cares about them,” said Reynolds.

If you are interested in making a donation to help them reach their first goal then you can visit their website.

PhotoJournalist: Gary Hipps.

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