Packaging Care & Sharing Hope

Friday, November 17, 2017

When Diya Desai was looking to give back to her community, she looked to the Y based on her connection as a former summer camp volunteer and inspiration from her Nana ("who always encouraged me to help others"). For her most recent volunteer service, Diya's beneficiaries were cancer survivors in the LIVESTRONG at the Y program.

Diya, a 9th grader at Panther Creek High School, is an active Girl Scout and recently received the Silver Award – the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. For Diya’s Silver Award project, she researched the needs of cancer survivors and then got to work creating thoughtful care packages with essentials such as natural lotions, wipes, baby oils, lip balm, candles and hand sanitizer. Much like the Y’s focus on Spirit, Mind and Body, Diya even included many inspirational quotes to encourage the recipients of her care packages. Her personal favorite quote was “No matter how dark the night, you shall always shine through.

A heart for others

After choosing her project out of a desire to simply help people, Diya shares that she is so glad to have connected with LIVESTRONG because “it was an amazing experience to help someone and make them feel cherished and hopeful.”

A real and lasting impact

LIVESTRONG participant Angela shares that “receiving the gift bag was one of the most thoughtful gestures I have gotten since going through this journey.  What made it all the more special was that it was from a complete stranger.  The effort and consideration she put into each item in the bag made it so meaningful and it definitely put a smile on each and everyone one of us!”

Similarly, participant Debbie shares that “it was such a sweet surprise to be given a little gift bag during our LIVESTRONG program. The bag was filled with thoughtful goodies such as natural products from Burt’s Bees. This is a real treat as often times between doctor appointments, medicines and their side effects we are left with little time or desire for pampering. It was a special little blessing to be treated to such gifts. It was a beautiful gesture and has made me smile many times as I use the products and enjoy a little 'me' time."

An example for us all

We’re so proud of Diya and honored that she chose the Y as her service partner! Volunteer Coordinator Laura Rosbottom encourages others to follow her lead: “Diya Desai is an example of how anyone of any age can have a positive impact in our world. Diya made an appointment to brainstorm ideas and then took one of those ideas and ran with it! She made a real difference to members of our community. She will certainly inspire others."

Contact the Y to find out more about upcoming LIVESTRONG at the Y and volunteer opportunities.