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Arkansas student creates COVID-19 care kits to give away

Fifteen-year-old Shankul Lohakare gave away kits with masks, hand sanitizer, a thermometer, and a pulse oximeter to help with early COVID-19 detection.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — A Little Rock Central High School sophomore gave away COVID-19 care kits in a drive-thru at the school on Saturday afternoon. The kits consisted of masks, hand sanitizer, a thermometer, and a pulse oximeter in a reusable cosmetic bag to help detect early symptoms of the virus. 

Fifteen-year-old Shankul Lohakare came up with the idea for the giveaway and took action after seeing Arkansas cases and numbers. 

“We’re living in unprecedented times. Arkansas itself has around 2,000 cases and around 40 deaths just like per day and looking at those numbers, it's truly scary. I was trying to lesson those numbers any way I could," said Lohakare. 

She says she used money from her college fund and from her savings to purchase the items in bulk. She put the kits together and had 50 to distribute on first-come-first-serve basis for the giveaway. 

School administrators were in attendance to support the tabling. 

Lohakare's friends were also in attendance to help volunteer. Some held signs near the road for passing cars and others put more kits together for presentation. 

One of her school friends, Arrsh Ali, says she was shocked at the idea at first. 

“No one's really come up with this before. I was really happy for her, so I let her know like, if you need a volunteer or anything, girl I got you. I'm proud of her, this is a really great idea," said Ali. 

Sofia Syed, another sophomore, agrees. 

"I was like, wow I’m so happy that she’s doing something for the community. You would think in a pandemic, no one's going to go out and volunteer, because everyone's so scared, but I'm glad we came out to support her," said Syed.

Lohakare's father, Jayant Lohakare says they've seen a lot of COVID-19 cases on the news. He's proud of his daughter for giving out kits to people who otherwise wouldn't have access too essential for early detection. 

"I was very surprised. I was astonished actually at how she came up with the idea. She came to me and let me know she cannot see so many die. The cases are going up, and I said I will support you with what you need," said Lohakare. 

They're now taking donations to continue making kits.