August is the month most teens prepare for back to school, but some local teens are prepping donations for local refugees. Organizer Alvira Tyagi was inspired to lend her help after watching a documentary on struggles faced by refugees migrating to a new life.
"Everyday when I see it I'm grateful for the things I am able to do as a high schooler in Albany," Alvira said.
The Shaker student's helpful mindset is also spreading like wildfire, as classmates and family members help carry out her vision.
"It makes me feel good that one small thing can help their lives change a lot," said classmate Gregory Vankampen.
School supplies, toiletries, and clothing, make their way from the William K. Sanford Library, to the Albany RISSE Center. It's a non-profit that supports over 200 families, from 33 different countries annually.
"Most of them are struggling to obtain the skills to have a disposable income, so being able to fulfill their basic needs is a huge help to them," said RISSE volunteer organizer Theresa Frey-Alexander.
Alvira recently launched an official student club for the drive.
"I wanted to do more than just collect items, I wanted to educate students my age about this issue," Alvira said.
Her brother, Aarya, is already prepared to continue the mission.
"I'm becoming a freshman there this year so hopefully I will be the president of the club when she goes to college," Aarya said.