FRISCO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Tanya Sayooj and her classmate Amoolya Tadepalli are 10th graders at Heritage High School in Frisco. After months of watching police officers, firefighters, grocery store workers and others on the front lines, the teens wanted to find a way to support them.
“Every morning we watch the news and I see how much time and effort that people put into their jobs to help other people and I wanted to do something but I wasn’t really sure with what,” Sayooj said.READ MORE: Early Voting For The November Election In Texas Begins Today
The pair put their heads together and created their own website called “Spreading thanks.” It’s inspired by the hashtag #spreadkindnessnotthevirus that the City of Frisco has been using to promote acts of kindness.
“I only wanted to just give thank you cards and I wanted to just go hand them out to people but then as I brought [Amoolya] into it, and she came up with the idea of maybe giving them something like a gift card,” Sayooj said.
On their website, people are asked to donate and write a thank you message to essential workers. The girls then buy gift cards and hand make personalized cards to hand out to their local heroes. They say especially with the recent surges in the number of COVID-19 cases, Frisco employees don’t receive enough appreciation.READ MORE: 'I Just Think It's A Bad Dream': Parent Reacts After Pregnant Mother Of 4 Killed On Texas Highway
“Health care workers are labeled almost as heroes because they were heroes for a lot of people, and we realize that the same applies for all the essential workers,” Sayooj said.
Their work caught the attention of Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney, who in an email told them, “Frisco is the best place to live because of residents like you.”
So far, the teens have raised about $200 in donations so far, but they hope it’s just the beginning.MORE NEWS: Denton Police Mourning Passing Of Detective Rodney Mooneyham To COVID
“I mean, honestly, as long as coronavirus and COVID-19 is still very like prominent issue, like in the world right now and people are still having trouble with everything like this we do want to continue as long as we can,” Sayooj said.