The School Newspaper of Rouse High School

Raider Rumbler

The School Newspaper of Rouse High School

Raider Rumbler

The School Newspaper of Rouse High School

Raider Rumbler

Smiles for Miles

A local nonprofit organization holds a fall bake sale
Fakheri Zayed
Fall Bake Sale: On October 27, Smiles for Miles held a fall bake sale in Parkside at Mayfield Ranch where they sold chips, brownies, cookies, cake truffles and lemonade.

Smiles for Miles is a small-profit organization whose mission is to empower children in need through awareness and opportunities. The organization’s main goal is to provide children with knowledge as well as creating a positive environment for them. 

The organization is planning to hold an online seminar where they talk about mental health topics, although an official date has not been set. For physical activities, they are going to wait until the weather gets better.

The founders of the organization are sophomores Saiaskshita Epari, Shareen Haider, Vidya Puralasetty and Arya Goyani.

“I’m glad that I’m doing it with my closest friends,” Epari said. “It’s fun because we all have similar mindset ideas, so it just works great. I’m grateful that I have all of them to work with.”

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Last year the organization was created near the end of the school year. Epari brought up the idea, and from there they formulated a name and design, and started posting more content and creating a website. 

“All four of us have always been passionate about doing social service kind of things,” Epari said. “We liked doing stuff for children because I feel like that’s something that’s very overlooked.”

One of the biggest challenges the organization faces is reaching out to people. 

“Connecting with more people is difficult because Austin is such a big area,” Epari said. “It’s just hard to find the right targeted people, as well as connecting with kids like we’ve been able to connect with a lot of kids locally, but our goal is to grow and expand more.”

A few weeks ago the organization hosted a book drive where they were able to donate the books to another nonprofit, Book Springs. Book Springs provides books to low-income students in Texas.

“We were able to collect books from Parkside, Lost Woods, and all the local neighborhoods near us,” Epari said. “We got a lot of books at school as well. We collected over 250 books [and] one day we all went, took them in all our cars and we donated [them]”

While Epari was in India, she partnered with a hotel where they hosted an event for Adrutha Children’s Home with activities about health promotion. They held a fundraiser where they were able to raise over ₹10,000 ($1,000). They were able to purchase monitors, clothes, blankets, etc.

“There was this one children’s home that I had visited a few years ago, and it stuck with me,” Epari said. “When I went back to India this summer, I decided I wanted to do something for them. I was able to visit them, interview with them and see what they know about health and the stigma around it, especially because I’m from a local area.”

The hotel and Epari organized a dental camp to provide free consultations for the children to see how their physical health is. They have also held a dance camp. 

“It was honestly so rewarding,” Epari said. “It felt so great knowing that I was able to help people and knowing that these kids had a fun day, especially because it’s a children’s home for local boys. They go through a lot, and I’m glad that I was able to reward them with a fun day.”

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