MILLBURN, NJ — In an effort to help provide some comfort to those helping to treat the COVID-19 pandemic, a family of Millburn residents has been working to put together care packages to frontline medical workers.
For Saina Balasara who is a sixth grader at the middle school and her brother Amay, a third-grader at Deerfield, their new passion is for creating care packages for frontline Nurses and Doctors. Working together, the siblings can create some 30-40 packs per day.
Following the packing stage, the duo's care bags are delivered to East Orange General hospital, RWJ Barnabas Livingston and Rahway NJ for the heroes.
"Amay and I just had the idea that they may not be getting something to like munch on during their break," Saina said. "So we just thought we can make snack bags for them."
Saina added that the bags contain juice, chips candy, fruit, and other assorted items. She works to pack the backs, while Amay focuses more on the decoration and stapling of the bags.
"Then we have these volunteers Gina and Ben," Amay said "They're the people who will help us ship it to hospitals without us going to [a] hospital."
The pair are referring to Front Line Appreciation Group volunteers Gina and Ben Cohen, who picked up the bags and were helping to deliver them this past week on their normal rounds.
For the children's mother, Shika Agrawal, she said the idea was simply to give back, and that she is pleasantly surprised and happy with how much her children have embraced the project.
"Yeah, one evening they just came back and said, hey, can we make a snack bags," Agrawal said. "Can we do something, and you know it's like okay, you have time, here are 40-50 brown bags at home. Let's just keep doing [this], and we didn't think that it would go this far."
Agrawal also noted that when the family first started, they were unaffiliated with any organization, which meant they would spend 20-30 minutes per day dropping off the care packs at local hospitals.
Now, the delivery help means there is more time to focus on the creation of the care packs. The family also noted how key support from the community has been in the whole process. Whether residents have donated food, money or time, the family is thankful for all contributions.
“I think that it's really cool that we're getting so much support," Saina said. "I know we're not the only people doing this but it's so cool how so many people can come together and do so much for the community and frontline workers.”
"All this is kind of continuing, and we want to keep going until we need to, Agrawal added. "If we can continue to get support. And I think Saina and Amay are in that zone, you know, they won't give up easily on this."
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