By Alina Issakhanian
Bee the Hope, a non-profit organization and club at Granada Hills Charter (GHC), has given a group of students the chance to bring positive change to the Los Angeles community. In simple terms, Bee the Hope allows students to volunteer and have an impact in their communities by directly executing plans and teaching leadership skills, but it’s much more than that. The club, which aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, has helped many in local communities. Just this year, members of Bee the Hope fed over 400 healthcare workers, raised over $18,000, and created 2,500 hygiene kits for local homeless shelters.
“When Nirvan [Rayamajhi, co-founder and president] first came to me with the idea of bringing Bee the Hope to our school, I knew I had to help him. I wanted to bring this club to Granada because I want to provide students with chances to gain volunteer hours during the pandemic. I understand how challenging it is for students to go out and find opportunities, so I thought why not bring it to students instead,” said junior Bao Ngoc Nguyen, co-founder and vice president.
Nguyen creates projects that impact our community. Over the holiday season, she helped set up a toy drive, which is her most memorable experience with Bee the Hope.
“This project not only brought joy and spirit to the holiday season, but also an immense impact in our community. Seeing kids receive their gifts and holiday cards made by GHC students truly made my holiday as Bee the Hope was able to bring smiles during such a difficult time,” Nguyen said.
The toy drive was a favorite among many of the members. With this event, Bee the Hope donated 170 toys, accompanied by a Christmas card, to Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez for her “Kids First” project and Dennise Mejia, who works for the Latino Coalition of Los Angeles. Junior Dakota Duran, secretary and co-editor of the Bee the Hope Newsletter, says this event was “one that [she] will never forget.”
Bee the Hope not only makes an impact on the community, but on the members as well. After a Bee the Hope event, members feel that they have become a direct part in improving other people’s lives.
“I was drawn to Bee the Hope as I knew it had the potential to do magnificent things and make an impact on many lives. I was close to Nirvan before the club started and I saw him participate in separate volunteer activities, inspiring me to do the same. He asked me to be secretary a little bit before Club Rush, and I was on board. I was excited to make a difference and have fun with my friends at the same time,” Duran said.
Just last year, Bee the Hope held several donation events. Some donations included Halloween candy, Thanksgiving food, clothing, feminine hygiene products, and toys, giving many an opportunity to have meals, necessities, and holiday cheer that they do not often have the means to access.
Along with holding events that gather basic and essential items for less-fortunate individuals and families, Bee the Hope has hosted several events that highlight mental health, which is especially crucial now, during the pandemic, when many are lonely. They have hosted several card and letter-making events for elderly people as well as people who are hospitalized and surviving sexual abuse.
Bee the Hope is also working hard during the pandemic to help those directly affected in terms of education. They held a book drive which collected over 3,000 books that were then sent to children in homeless shelters. High school students were also given the opportunity to participate in a resume workshop with a UCLA college counselor to better prepare for their future.
The club’s goals for this pandemic and in the future include education, health, community, responsibility, care, and change. With this mindset, they have already impacted more than 10,000 lives.
Bee the Hope keeps its members and community updated on their inspiring efforts through a monthly newsletter, put together by Duran and fellow editors junior Shaelynn Martine and sophomore Camila Castaneda. This newsletter can be found on their Google Classroom page or LinkTree, and will soon be available on their upcoming website.