SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Students in Uvalde, Texas are on summer break but have a long way to go in the healing process. Now a Scottsdale boy is working to help them.
Two years ago, Anaik Sachdev began collecting books for hospital patients in isolation. It was an idea he first got after his grandmother was hospitalized with COVID-19. Since that day, he’s collected thousands of books, creating the nonprofit Loving Library and teaming up with Valley organizations.
Most recently, he collected books for Afghan refugees who were in his class. Now, the 10-year-old is collecting books for 800 students in Uvalde CISD with the help of his 13-year-old friend Sia Sankaran in Dallas, Texas.
“When I was at school and our teacher talked about that school shooting, I thought, how could this happen? And I felt really sad on the inside. I want to provide books for them so they do not feel lonely,” Sachdev said .
“To be able to read and express their emotions, it’s honestly something that I enjoyed since I was a kid and I hope that it can help a lot of the kids in Uvalde as much as it helped me,” Sankaran said.
Sachdev’s mom, Anjleen Gumer, says after the children in Uvalde attend a grief camp, they’ll get a bundle of reading materials and a journal to help them cope with tragedy and trauma.
“Showing the kids that there is a way to turn some of the pain we’re feeling on the inside to something more powerful and helping people,” she said.
As for Sachdev, his Loving Library is rapidly expanding beyond Arizona and Texas with a vision to make the world a kinder place one book at a time.
“The more you give, the happier you’ll become,” he said.
They have until June 27 to collect all the books they need. If you would like to donate, click here.