Palmer Trinity junior Shreeya Mishra has already earned hundreds of community service hours, many of them for helping the homeless.
“I have a club here at Palmer called Light the Way,” she says. “In this club we collect books and donate them to the Little Lighthouse Foundation Resource Center at the Chapman Partnership for the Homeless.”
Students were given one community service hour for a certain number of books donated. As a result, Mishra collected 400 to 500 books which she took to the Chapman Partnership
“It was a school-wide event,” she says. “Everyone was able to participate.”
She also ran a contest for club members. The person who donated the most books received a $100 Visa gift card. The second place winner received a $50 card.
“Before this drive, the summer before that, I noticed a lot of the teachers were getting rid of the books they had in the classroom. I collected the textbooks and sold them on Amazon and was able to use the money for the gift cards,” Mishra says.
She planned on organizing additional books drives as long as the Chapman Partnership indicated a need for them.
“We also collect the reading books used by kids age seven to 11,” she says. “These books are read to the children who are homeless at the Chapman Partnership. They’re used in their story hour.”
Mishra says she is not limiting her book donations to the Chapman Partnership.
“I am looking to branch out to different units that could use these books as well,” she says. “I started this club because I noticed how many books people and teachers have in their room that are of no use for them once they done with them.”
Last December, Mishra went to the Chapman Partnership to read to the children.
“It was an incredible experience, I love to see their reaction,” she says. “I made a gift to them. I decided to give each one a book. It was just amazing to see the reaction on their faces. It felt good that something that was of no use to someone here was looked at in such a nice way in Chapman Partnership.”
When she brought in the bin of books, many of the people residing at the shelter came in to look for a book.
“This is something that made me realize, we don’t appreciate the resources we are given,” she says.
Mishra not only volunteers to help the homeless, but she also volunteers to help children who have been mistreated. She is a member of His House, a Palmer club that works to improve the circumstances for the children who reside at the house.
Club members participate in food drives and help sort clothing that people donate for the kids.
Mishra also spent several weeks in India volunteering at Maharaja Agrasen Hospital in Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi.
She is active in sports at Palmer. Last year she was a cheerleader during football season and she played basketball. She has also participated in cross country as well as track and field. She also finds the time to perform Bollywood dancing, as well as traditional Indian dancing.
“I’ve performed both at the International Festival,” she says.
Last year Mishra was vice president of the Class of 2015, but gave that up to become vice president of the Student Government Association.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld