A usual spring for brother and sister Dylan and Eva Stepherson would look like going to high school, playing soccer, hiking with their parents or hanging with friends. But we all know that this spring is not like usual springs, thanks to COVID-19.
Dylan, a Garfield High School junior and Eva, a freshman - felt compelled to help and take action. And action, they took.
The siblings created CARE-19, an effort to build and provide free care packages with essential food and health supplies to people in need.
"After this pandemic cancelled our school, we realized that many people were in need of basic supplies and didn’t have the ability to purchase them," said Dylan. "We also understood that the social distancing measures were very isolating, especially for those who lived alone. We needed to do something".
When I spoke with Dylan and Eva via phone, I was struck by how mature they sounded - more than most adults I know.
"The first step was creating a plan and reaching out to people within our own community to help make this idea become a reality," said Eva. "We chose a name, website and were ready to start making a difference."
It's easy to think up ideas to help others, much harder to actually DO it, like these two have.
"We partnered with a handful of business [to fill CARE-19 packages]" said Dylan. "They include food, health supplies and other essentials to help reduce the impact of the virus. They also include info from the CDC about staying healthy and getting better if you do get sick. These care packages include - but are not limited to - gloves, masks, wet wipes, vitamin C packets, snack bars, and tea."
So far Dylan and Eva have assembled nearly 200 CARE-19 kits, and they don't plan to stop anytime soon.
"We have tons of friends who want to help so we are looking into ways to grow our operation safely while maintaining social distancing" said Eva. The kits are distributed to people in need, mainly those in low income housing and nursing homes.
I had to ask, what's is like working with your sibling?
"We get along most of the time, but quarantine is making it a bit harder because we are literally together 24/7," they giggle.
There is good in the world. We all need that reminder, now more than ever. Dylan and Eva, thank you for being that reminder! Your parents must be so proud, and so are we to call you Seattleites!
To help this cause, visit www.care-19.org and click on the TAKE ACTION button.