"If you feel like there's something out there that you're supposed to be doing if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it." ~ Wanda Sykes
Sometimes, all it takes to accomplish a big thing is doing many little things. Take one step at a time, and eventually, you will have walked a long distance. That's the mindset that Shreyaa Venkat, a rising senior at Broad Run High School, had when she began volunteering. Shreyaa started volunteering in her Virginia community when she was in 5th grade and has since spent over 850 hours giving back. Shreyaa's sister Esha - rising freshman at Broad Run High School, has learned from her sister and loves to volunteer as well.
Taking Community Service to the Next Level
Shreyaa and Esha knew they could do more to help out, so together they formed NEST4US, a platform that helps give back to the community in a multitude of ways. The letters NEST stand for Newer Environment Starts Today. Shreyaa says, "The mission of NEST is to work with communities to provide volunteer and leadership opportunities to make the world better through kindness." Some things they do in their community are collecting food and clothing for the homeless, tutoring children, and providing technology workshops for senior citizens. Two sisters founded NEST and now has over 350 dedicated volunteers. They hope to continue inspiring others to give back as well.
In total, NEST4US has made a huge impact. The foundation currently serves over 12 homeless shelters in the Washington Metro Area, serving over 10,000 meals to people. Their tutoring program has more than 50 tutors/mentors and has helped children in 18 different schools. Through book drives, NEST has provided over 5,000 books to underprivileged kids. As if Shreyaa and Esha haven't already made such a huge impact, they continue to facilitate partnerships with other local nonprofits. They are also creating more programs to give back in their community. Shreyaa says, "We are inspired to give back because we know how fortunate we are & feel it is our responsibility to help those in need"!
NEST recently received an award for Outstanding Volunteer Youth Team. Shreyaa has also been recognized for her passion for helping others & making such a significant impact in her community. She won 6 awards in 2019 alone, ranging from the Governor's Youth Volunteer of the Year Award to the Virginia General Assembly Commending Outstanding Service award.
Ways NEST Gives Back:
Here are just a few of many ways that NEST4US helps out in their community:
- Writing Cards for the Homeless
- Mentoring Program for Children
- Local Partnerships for Food Donations
NEST4US finds so many ways to volunteer and give back in their own community. Visit their website to learn more about what this organization has accomplished. What ways could you be giving back in your neighborhood? Share your volunteering stories with us and share on social media using #InspireKindActs.