Anahi Hernandez ’20 | Major: Psychology
This past summer has been challenging for many families as COVID-19 has financially impacted many around the world. One of our current students, Anahi Hernandez, found an opportunity to offer relief to those in need in her hometown Yucatán, México.
How can people get involved/support?
“If people want to get involved, they can contact me via Facebook, Instagram or email.My Facebook name is Anahi Her. My Instagram is @Aniher95 and my email address is email@example.com. They can see some photos of the people that my family and I have helped so far in my social media. If people can and would like to donate, my Venmo is @Anahi-Hernandez-1 Every single dollar goes to buying groceries. I will work on opening an Etsy account soon.“
How has your summer been?
“My summer has been fine. I stay at home most of the week selling masks online and looking for a job. On the weekends, I volunteer at a food bank near my place and spend the rest of the day hanging out with my partner. Before the fires, when there was no smoke, I would go for walks around the neighborhood and hikes in Golden Gate Park.”
What inspired you to begin selling masks?
“Growing up in Yucatán, México was difficult. There were times when the only food my family and I had was beans and tortillas. Now that I live in the U.S.A., I have the privilege of not worrying about if I will have food the next day because this country has many programs for families in need. Unfortunately, Mexico does not have those programs. My auntie still lives in Yucatán and she was telling me that many people were not allowed to work due to the virus, but the government did not offer any financial aid. Many people lost their jobs and now they do not have any food or money to buy groceries. They started hanging a piece of clothing at their front door. This means that they have run out of food. This way other neighbors will bring some groceries to share with them. The problem is that now, most of the neighbors are out of food. Thankfully my family in Mexico did not have these problems because they still have their jobs, but we still want to help.”
When Menlo went on lockdown due to the Stay at Home order, I was unable to continue working and I did not have a lot of money to send to Mexico. I was only able to send some money to help three families. I felt bad for not being able to help more. Then my auntie told me that people from villages in Yucatán started to sell face masks. That is when I had the idea of buying some face masks from the local people and selling them here in California. I sell each mask for $10 dollars. With just $30 dollars, a family of four can have groceries in Yucatán for a whole month!
So, I sell the masks here in the Bay Area, then I send all of the money from the masks to my auntie in Yucatán. She buys and puts together the groceries. Finally, my uncle delivers them to families in need at the villages or beaches on his day off. We only ask the people to please allow us to take a photo of them with the groceries to send to people that bought some masks or donated money. So far, we have been able to help 83 families. Hopefully, I will continue to sell masks to help more families next month. My goal is to continue to help as many families as I can. I think it is very important that we use our position of power, like being in the U.S.A, to help people in need either here or in other countries. “
“Another goal that I have is to collect used toys in good condition and send them to Mexico. I remember that I was 7 years old when my mother told me that Santa wasn’t real and that she was not going to buy us toys for Christmas because she could not afford them. I would not like that to happen to another kid. I plan to deliver the toys to kids in poor villages for Christmas. I am sure that this year many families will not have money for toys and I want kids to continue to believe in Santa Claus. So far I have collected around 50 new and used toys from the Facebook Market. I hope I can collect more toys before December.”
Are you excited for the upcoming school year?
“I am very excited to start classes again. I love learning from the wonderful Psychology professors at Menlo and I am also excited to see one of my favorite Professors, Dr. Evan Lau. I am also excited that I only have two semesters left and I will graduate. I hope I can continue to sell some masks during the year. My goal is to help as much as possible.”
How can people get involved/support?
“If people want to get involved, they can contact me via Facebook, Instagram or email. My Facebook name is Anahi Her. My Instagram is @Aniher95 and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. They can see some photos of the people that my family and I have helped so far in my social media. If people can and would like to donate, my Venmo is @Anahi-Hernandez-1 Every single dollar goes to buying groceries. I will work on opening an Etsy account soon.“