Sadie (Left) and Naomi (Right)
Nearly 9,000 miles from India, two sisters Sadie (11) Naomi (13), had been watching the country’s COVID-19 crisis unfold on the news from their home in Southern California.
Hearing of the tragic circumstances the people of India continue to face, the young girls were moved to take action as a team. Their own family experienced the devastation of the virus when their mother’s aunt passed away from COVID-19 last year.
Deciding on a fundraiser was the first step. Next, it was important for the girls to pick an organization they felt was a good match. While doing research, they found CNN’s Impact Your World Report, which provides information on charities helping to respond to disasters and tragic events. The specific report for India’s COVID-19 surge, provided the opportunity for the girls to select an organization that would make a difference and get involved in something bigger than themselves. It was there they discovered international humanitarian and disaster relief nonprofit Airlink.
When a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis occurs, Airlink provides logistics coordination and airlift of humanitarian aid. In order to immediately mobilize and facilitate shipments, the Airlink team connects its partner network, which includes more than 150 nonprofit organizations and 50 commercial airlines.
The sisters said they picked Airlink, “because they are doing something no one else is,” focusing on the logistics of getting the supplies where they need to go quickly. As avid Star War fans, seeing a video on the organization’s YouTube from Airlink’s spokesperson Harrison Ford resonated with them, too.
Making a list of family and friends from which to gather donations, the pair decided on a two-week deadline and set a goal of $1,000. They included a letter in their outreach explaining Airlink’s mission and their motivation to help the people of India in their time of need.
Thirteen-year-old Naomi wrote, “Donating is not simply an act of giving money – it’s an act of love and kindness, and offers support to those with the greatest needs. Whether a small or large amount, your contribution is important and would work towards saving lives and sustaining families affected by COVID-19.”
Little did they know, the generosity of others to support them in making a difference would extend further than they imagined, as they soon passed their initial mark. Setting a new goal of $2,000, they raised $2,310.
Airlink, upon noting the generosity of the donation, reached out to the sisters to let them know they were helping to make it possible for multiple shipments of medical supplies to be sent to India including, oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters, personal protective equipment, and other supplies needed to care for COVID-19 patients.
Their father, who had been watching proudly as the girls sprung to action wrote to Airlink, “They were so encouraged to see that people were willing to help if they were asked, and are excited that these donations will be helping save lives. It seemed fitting that funds in their great aunt’s name would help people across the world have a better chance of surviving this disease.”
The sisters were touched to learn their donation in memory of their great aunt was making a direct impact as Airlink coordinated the delivery of supplies to Delhi, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, and even to neighboring countries Nepal and Bangladesh also impacted by the COVID-19 surge.
The inspiring sister-team closed their fundraiser letter with a quote from Mother Teresa: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Surely proven by Naomi and Sadie, great things are possible when many people come together to give, and two sisters have love in their hearts to help others.
Lastly, their mother concluded, “The girls encourage and teach us, too. It’s inspiring to see that when they see the world go sideways, they let it move them to action.”