School: Horizon Honors Secondary
The arrival of the pandemic in 2020 changed nearly every aspect of life, but some areas were more profoundly hurt than others. Seniors, especially seniors who live in care centers, were physically shut off from the world for their own protection. That separation halted the volunteer work of Sripriya Srinivas, a student at Horizon Honors Secondary who enjoyed working with memory care patients.
“We started out gardening, but when it got too hot outside, we’d go indoors and do arts and crafts,” Srinivas, now a junior, said. “Arts and crafts help relax the mind and improve mental capability.”
Srinivas’ Saturday mornings were part of her routine. But when they abruptly stopped in 2020, she wanted to figure out a way to continue her volunteer work, even from afar.
“Even for me, it was very tough being alone, shut out from the world,” Srinivas, now 17, said. “I wanted to make their isolation period a little more tolerable and was thinking of things I could do to help out.”
That’s why Srinivas started Gift of Giving, an effort to make seasonal cards for residents, and Craft Legends, a craft-project-in-a-box program for memory care patients. The routine cards were welcome in the centers, while the craft projects helped accomplish the in-person experience Srinivas couldn’t provide during COVID.
Srinivas reeled about how memory-care patients needed stimulation and how they would be severely impacted by isolation. She recruited volunteers and friends to help create these craft activities to distribute.
“We’d put paint, brushes, little ribbons and craft items, and make it into a kit so they could do a project,” she said.
Srinivas plans to expand her projects and provide these resources to several memory care patient facilities.Back to Recipients