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Teen Sisters Launch Global Nonprofit Focused on Giving Back During COVID

My sister (Krystal Amihere) and I (Nanette Amihere) are high school students, and in 2018, we noticed that there were not many youth advocacy programs in our town and that nothing was being done to assure that underprivileged/underrepresented persons had opportunities when it came to getting basic necessities. As children of immigrants from Ghana, our mother donated medical items and supplies to villages in Ghana every summer, and we advised with packaging supplied in barrels and boxes for her to donate. Initially, our work focused on donating essential supplies for schools and hospitals in Ghana, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we saw a new need right there in the local community and decided to pivot our focus.

From then on, we decided to start our own volunteer organization called CNK Health Services, in an effort to support those in need. CNK Health Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on giving back to our community, assisting the underprivileged, and people experiencing homelessness. Over the course of two years, we formed a board of passionate youth advocates with a shared passion for giving back to those in need.

(Courtesy of Nanette and Krystal Amihere)

In light of this pandemic, I created a project called ‘Let’s Make Masks’ where we’ve delivered masks and cards to local hospitals, senior centers, and homeless shelters. Having an aunt who sews clothing, she taught me how to sew the masks, which I took to quickly. Krystal handled the organization and pre-production tasks like cutting the fabric. Very soon, we rallied together as a team and got to work.

Once we started the project in early May 2020, we began posting photos of the masks on our Instagram page, and were surprised to have a surplus of people reaching out interested in sewing masks for us to donate to hospitals and nursing homes. Shortly after, even more students reached out, expressing their interest in creating thank you cards for healthcare workers, and motivational cards for the elderly. We have recruited over 250 volunteers to create masks and cards, and we have given out over 1000 thank-you cards, encouragement cards, and handmade face masks to 18+ local hospitals and senior centers. We have also been recognized on several news channels including Fox 5 DC, ABC7 WJLA, and PGCTV. Earlier this year, Krystal and I were announced as GoFundMe’s Kid Heroes Of The Month, giving us the opportunity to encourage more individuals to get involved. We have been able to raise $7,857 alone on GoFundMe towards our “Let’s Make Masks Project,” and we are 39% closer to our goal of $20,000. In the coming months, we hope to donate over 2,000 cards and masks.

(Courtesy of Nanette and Krystal Amihere)

As the holidays and the days started to get warmer, in February, we decided to start working on donation drives in our community as well as encouraging our ambassadors from different states and countries to hop on our new project. We have held one donation drive so far in Maryland, and in the coming months hope to host more to raise funds and collect item ranging from canned/boxed foods to sanitary items. All donations are donated to local nursing homes and food banks.

(Courtesy of Nanette and Krystal Amihere)

As our organization grows, our goal is to keep finding ways to help those in need. To donate to our GoFundMe fundraiser, visit https://gofund.me/1cda72c6 + check out our Instagram and website here: https://cnkhealthservices.wixsite.com/foundation

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