Frisco High School Sophomores Launch Gratitude Campaign for Front-Line Workers

The teens are collecting donations to buy gift cards

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Two Frisco teenagers are using their summer break to launch a fundraising campaign to purchase gift cards for front-line workers.

“We noticed that front-line workers and health care medical workers -- they’re getting a lot of appreciation already. They deserve everything they’re getting, but we wanted to do something for some people who are not getting as much appreciation,” 15-year-old Tanya Sayooj said.

“Appreciate the unappreciated,” 15-year-old Amoolya Tadepalli added.

The rising 10th graders at Heritage High School in Frisco built a website to collect donations for grocery store workers and first responders.

Each worker will receive a $10 gift card and a handmade thank you note.

“This was all a spontaneous thing,” Sayooj said. “We had the idea, we had the time, we just put it together and we created it.”

The teens made flyers with QR codes that, when scanned, take the user to their website to donate. They also launched an email campaign to reach the mayor, school board trustees and news reporters about getting the word out.

“There’s not many ways we can spread it through our social media, so we wanted to find a bigger way to spread it,” Sayooj said.

So far, the pair has collected just over $300 and asked for additional donations to provide gift cards to as many front-line workers as possible.

They said the effort was born from an initial feeling of helplessness as the pandemic worsened. The campaign, they said, is a way to help fight that feeling.

“People are getting scared and angry and they just feel very worried. But, if everyone does one small thing, that level of fear and anger will subside,” Sayooj said.

The teens said they planned to team up for additional charitable projects when school starts again.

“We want to do more things like this in the future,” Tadepalli said.

“This taught us a lot about when you set your mind to anything and you have a genuine desire, you can pretty much get anything accomplished,” Sayooj said.

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