Sanya's Hope For Children

Helping a child means transforming a community one life at a time.

Photo of Sanya Pirani
13 11

Written by

Additional categories (optional)

  • Education
  • Environment

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

7/11/2006 Sanya

Help us stay in touch!

952-201-1920 3672 Pointe Pass NW Prior Lake, MN 55372

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Website: FaceBook: Twitter: @SanyaPirani1 Instagram: sanyashopeforchildren Linkedin:

Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

I am trying to tackle poverty at a micro-level because Minnesota's overall poverty rate is nearly 10.5%. Sanya's Hope For Children believes that every child deserves basic human rights. Our focus is on providing basic necessities of life, especially supporting education because we believe education is the main way to help children to be able to provide for themselves.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Poverty and hunger are intertwined and the only way out poverty is education and learning life skills such as sewing. I sew school bags with the help of local community volunteers and my team members. We give these bags to 550 homeless children with schools supplies, a book, and a toy as a holiday gift. In addition, we are focusing on teaching sewing to youth, and adults. Sewing provides self-employment at homes for young adults and empowers them to bring change in their financial status. These skills also give confidence and morale boosts. Right now, Minnesota's poverty rate stands at 10.5% and is still inclining. With 40% of children living in poverty aren't prepared for primary schooling, we hope this project has and will set students in poverty up for success. We also sell some bags without the school supplies to generate profits for this project. 100% of our proceeds go to children in need. Not only that but the fabrics for these bags come from furniture store scraps.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

At age seven and a half, one night, I peeked in my mother’s office, she was watching a YouTube video clip of children suffering due to war; I saw a girl who looked younger than me sitting on the ground with torn clothes, no shoes, and immense sadness and fear in her eyes. I was sad, angry and worried about her. Later, my mother had asked me what was bothering me. I told her that I saw that girl who was sitting on the ground on the YouTube video. Was it real? “Why did she look so sad and helpless?” My mother reluctantly explained that the girl perhaps lost her family and might not have anyone to care for her. I asked her, “Mother, didn’t you tell me God loves everyone?" My mother replied, “God created people like you to help children in need." From that night on, my journey of helping others never stopped. In 2017, my organization Sanya's Hope For Children formed.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

I remember when I was delivering our bags to the children in the homeless shelter, a mother came up to me with her children and said, "You are my angel, because I would have not been able to afford these holiday gifts for my children," Then her children came up to me and hugged me with such love and emotion. I cannot express that feeling. That was an extremely special moment for me, I could just feel how happy her children were. Every year we deliver more than 550 school bags with goodies to children during holiday times. We engage people to donate toys, books, and supplies, participate in our packing event, loading and transporting the bags and delivering the bags to the children. Last year we were able to galvanize 1,500 volunteers, for just this project. Our project impact is beyond 550 gifts. Its the community coming together to spread the joy and that is the biggest reward ever.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Each bag we sew is made out of donated fabrics from fabric and furniture stores. A lot of fabric from these stores go to waste, especially if they find no use to them in their stores. Many stores just throw away these fabrics. SHFC connects out to these stores and takes in the fabrics that they don't need. Each piece of fabric is sewn by each of our volunteers. We wouldn't send a bag to a child if we wouldn't even use the bags ourselves. Our organization also gives 100% back to children in need.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Not only does our School Bag Project help 550 children but it helps their families in total. The reaction from this project is overwhelmingly positive. We receive hugs, happy tears, and the staff from the homeless shelter told us that families always remember this event and they look forward to having it every year. The school bag gift distribution event preparation starts in January and ends in November. In December we distribute the bags. Planning involves the collection of fabrics from various furniture stores, preparing 550 kits for volunteers to sew, and recruiting and training volunteers. We fundraise 550 books, 6600 school supplies, and 550 toys. We reach out to our community via social media pages and local TV channels to reach out to donor pools. All these numbers translate into over 3000 service hours, about 1,500 volunteers, and $28,000 (includes goods and cash donations).

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We hope to extend our project to many more homeless shelters, so every child in Minnesota who are homeless are able to get access to school supplies. We hope to connect with more furniture stores in Minnesota. We also would like to start an SHFC sewing club so many young adults and adults can learn these skills and teach others. In addition, we would like to extend our services to a small village in northern Pakistan because 90% of villagers live below the poverty level. We hope to continue and make this a worldwide project.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Project Management

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Sales
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100
  • Donations between $100-$1k
  • Donations between $1k-$5k

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Joshua's Heart, a non-profit organization.

Evaluation results

10 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 70%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 20%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 10%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 77.8%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 22.2%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 70%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 20%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 10%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 80%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 20%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Hallie Hebner

I think this is a great project! It's great to see young members of the community helping with major issues. I can see that Sanya is an kind, selfless young adult who will do anything to help these children.  This project is not only helping children of poverty by giving them the supplies they need, but also providing them will with empathy and support. Love this idea!

Photo of Dilshad Pirani

Thank you so much for such kind words

Photo of Ann Marie Beste

Such a hard working, talented young lady!

Photo of Bilquis Khan

At such a young age, Sanya has set a great example for youth to follow. Her sincerity and concern to help children in poverty makes her inspiration for a lot of people. I wish all the youth would follow her footsteps. Wishing her the best in her sincere endeavors!!!

Photo of M Keiper

We are so lucky to have such a forward thinking, motivated, thoughtful change-maker living in our community. Sanya is very caring and has taken that attribute to better the world, starting with our local community but with an eye on the world. A true role model and change agent for the young. If everyone did 10% of what Sanya does, the world would truly be a different place.

Photo of Jackie

Sanya is dedicated to helping children in her community and surrounding areas. She wants to make sure kids thrive regardless of their situation. Sanya's talents and ideas draw others to her organization. Sanya is an inspiration to everyone to do more and help others.

Photo of Sara

Sanya is a talented, inspiring, and thoughtful young lady. She always works extremely hard to reach out and help her community. I have known Sanya for two years and I am inspired by her passion and drive to selflessly help others. This is an excellent project and I am grateful to know Sanya and witness her positive influence in the community!

Photo of Kay

I think this is a beautiful and well planned project! I love the idea of you wanting to help those who can't properly provide or don't have enough resource to provide for themselves. From this project, I know that you are selfless and ambitious person, which I personally commend you for. Great project!

Photo of Marsha Magdalene

I applaud this philanthropist and entrepreneur, she is truly changing her neighborhood and the world with the work that she does. I’m honored to know her and her Mother! Keep going a great job!

Photo of Joseph Zhong

Keep up such an amazing work, Sanya!!

Photo of Ryan Affolter

I have had the pleasure to hear Sanya speak on very challenging topics involving optimism in today’s society. She has an incredibly intelligent, positive, yet challenging view point on articulating on the topic “Is there a fine line between optimism and reality?” that:

“In the end, people are not simply optimist, pessimist or realist. To survive and move forward,” Sanya explains, “we need a combination of these factors. Martin Seligman, sums it up beautifully”... ‘Optimism and pessimism operate on a continuum, of which the midpoint is realism’...”So in total, the optimist needs the pessimist just as much as they need the realist. So yes, I believe because there is such a strong connection between the two, there is a fine line between optimism and reality and we need both to survive.” - Sanya

Those are incredibly powerful words from a such a young, motivated, positive and creative mind. I have no doubt that Sanya will continue to use her skills to drive her mission that every child deserves basic human rights like food, shelter, clothes, safety and education.

Photo of Josie Reichwald

Sanya is truly amazing. Her compassion for others and her drive for doing as much as she possibly can to make a difference in this world is awe-inspiring. My daughter has been friends with Sanya for for over 6 years, and has worked with her on many projects to help the community and the world. I am grateful for their friendship and Sanya's positive influence.

Photo of Dilshad Pirani

Inspiring young adults like Sanya Pirani and others are contributing to change the world in compassionate ways. We are blessed to have youth who are passionate to help the marginalized community. Exceptional approach Sanya Pirani.