Over the past several decades, young people have been leading the charge for change in every area of American life — now, a local high schooler is making his mark as well.
Sambhav Jain, a 15-year-old sophomore at Granada High, launched an initiative to make and distribute free, high-quality, reusable, three-ply cotton masks for his community. At www.masksforlivermore.com, anybody can sign up for a free mask to be delivered to their home via USPS.
“I have always been interested in helping my community,” Samhav said. “It’s always been my passion, and seeing the suffering caused by the pandemic introduced an idea where I could help protect lives of the citizens of our town.”
The masks are made of three layers of cloth and have elastic bands that wrap around the ears. They come in three different colors — camo, blue and dark green. The masks contain a soft interior, allowing for comfort if worn for a long period of time, and there is a seam running down the middle, which allows for a perfect fit.
So far, Sambhav has shipped masks to more than 100 families and raised $1,500 through his website’s fundraiser to keep his effort going. Through it all, he credits his parents with instilling him with the drive to help other wherever and whenever he can and his friends for supporting him and hyping his endeavor.
“My parents have been my biggest supporters. My dad helped provide for everything to get this initiative up and running — they would even help in packing the masks when the orders piled in,” he said. “My friends also supported my project immensely. They were able to convince people to visit my site, which really helped to bring more attention to it.”
As a parent, Sambhav’s father, Sourabh Jain, understands the importance of encouraging a child to care for those in their community.
“In my opinion, community service is as important as focusing on studies or sports to develop holistically as a good citizen and a human being,” he said. “Seeing a 15-year-old trying to do something for the community while we are all staying indoors is heartening. I also feel that this service has given him such an enriching experience to basically think of an idea (knowing that we cannot meet people), launch a campaign and run it. I think this ensures our kids grow up as better individuals who have empathy towards others.”