Chad Yu, a student at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD originally found out about THS through tweets by school principal Renay Johnson. Johnson often tweets about activities Blair students are involved in and Yu knew that THS co-founders Pai and Casertano were fellow Blair students.
“I joined THS because all that has gone on with the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight for justice has made me realize how privileged I am to have a stable life with minimal worries, and has made me more eager to help others who may not be as fortunate,” Yu said. “THS, to me, [is] one of the best ways I could help those affected by COVID-19 because their economic or physical conditions prevent[ed] them from having a steady access to groceries.”
Yu has been making multiple food deliveries for THS weekly, for veterans and individual deliveries.
According to Yu, for the veteran deliveries he picks up premade boxes with fresh groceries in them and delivers those to his assigned veterans. “For the past several weeks I’ve also been the main distributor where I pick up the boxes for all of the volunteers from the bus depot, give boxes accordingly to each volunteer, and return any extra boxes to the bus depot,” he explained. These deliveries to veterans are in conjunction with the THS partnership with Serving Together, described here. For individual deliveries, Yu reaches out to specific individuals to bring them requested groceries.
Yu has found that making deliveries multiple times a week can be exhausting, but “ultimately it’s rewarding seeing the impact that simple service can have on the people receiving the groceries and how happy it makes them.” He shared an anecdote about a senior he delivers for, Lonni Millman, who was so appreciative for Yu’s deliveries that she made donations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in his honor. “I thought that was really generous of her,” Yu noted.
“I’ve seen more places in Montgomery County that I’ve never known existed even after living here for more than half my life,” Yu professed. “Each week for deliveries for the veterans I travel to what seems like the four corners of Montgomery County.”
Yu has been surprised through his work for THS how widespread the need for service is. “Each week, we almost don’t have enough volunteers to deliver for all the veterans, which shows just how many people have been negatively affected by COVID-19.”