Jersey City sisters Ruhi and Reya Mehendale, who are 13 and nine years old, respectively, donated 92,000 seven-ounce bottles to hand sanitizer to help the city fight the spread of COVID-19.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
As a result of the young girls efforts to help the community amid the COVID-19 crisis, two truckloads of hand sanitizer were delivered.
The bottles will be distributed to Jersey City schools and homeless shelters to help community members maintain hygiene as the Delta variant has become a nationwide concern.
“We met at a meet and greet. She raised her hand with a lot of questions and asked about city issues,” Mayor Steven Fulop said of Ruhi Mehendale.
“She raised her hand and she said ‘hey, I’d like to organize a donation of hand sanitizer, a large, large, large donation’ and so I said ‘ok, you could follow up tomorrow, here’s my email address.’ And I really didn’t think she’d follow up as aggressively as she did.”
Ruhi Mehendale said “I love doing community service” and noted that she helped organize a bag donation to a homeless shelter.
“The pandemic has been really hard on people. People need hand sanitizer. It’s just a basic hygiene thing at this point so you don’t infect anybody.”
The young girls were able to be so successful in their latest philanthropic effort thanks to to their father Rahul. He connected Ruhi with a friend who is an executive at a hand sanitizer company in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Making a difference takes a village,” Rahul Mehendale said.
The Jersey City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has already distributed the hand sanitizer to hospitals and police precincts in the city. Additionally, Ruhi Mehendale has committed 1,300 bottles to her school and a homeless shelter.
“If the sanitizer helps drop a little bit of infection and saves just a few lives then it’s more than worth it. Hand sanitizer is a tiny bit of a way to stop or prevent the spread,” she added.