Dhruv Pai and Mathew Casertano are currently sophomores (Class of 2022) in Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland.
On March 5th, Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, announced the first positive cases of COVID-19 in the state. The following day, he announced that those cases were in Montgomery county. These developments made Dhruv and Matthew worry for the elderly members of their community, particularly older neighbors and both of their grandparents, who live near them in the same county.
Dhruv, whose mother is a front-line doctor fighting the coronavirus at a military hospital, was especially motivated to help. He wanted to follow his mom in her footsteps and do something of his own to help his community during this crisis. He saw a clear need in the case of his elderly grandparents and neighbor, who suffers from a debilitating heart condition.
His school friend, Matthew, was similarly anxious about this situation, because his 84-year old grandfather was hospitalized last year as a result of a flu, and had just returned home from three months of long term care at the beginning of this year. Due to this, he was told that if his grandfather contracted the coronavirus, he may never see him again.
On the last day of school before the COVID-19 closure, Dhruv and Matthew were thinking of what they were going to do during the just-announced two-week break. Dhruv said that he had been helping his elderly neighbor and grandparents for the previous week-and-a-half, and was concerned about how elderly members of his community without any nearby family were getting through this crisis. At that moment, Matthew mentioned about his grandparents and that he was similarly worried about that group of senior citizens. They both realized that their peers were going to be out of school for the next two weeks without much to do, so they thought, why not just connect them to older folks who don’t have anyone to get their medication and groceries for them. At that moment, Teens Helping Seniors was born.
Instead of sitting back and watching the COVID-19 outbreak destroy their communities, Dhruv, Matthew, and their fellow volunteers are channeling their anxiety into action. Please join us in helping each other during this crisis.