Theodore Kiselev is a Charlotte High School senior who wants to help people who are struggling in the community.

Several months ago, he teamed up with a few friends and started a project called “Help When Needed” with the goal of providing help for anyone in Southwest Florida who really needs it (or deserves it) right now.

“We aim to provide help to shelters, schools, veterans, the disabled and we also do other projects like thanking those who work in health care,” Kiselev said. “I just really want to emphasize while there is so much negativity out there right now — change can happen — and when small changes happen in the community, other people will notice and want help. Happiness spreads.”

Kiselev has about 10 other high school students in the area who are helping him achieve his goal and he’s looking for more. He hopes that when other kids hear about the project, they will reach and get involved.

“We want to get more youth involved right now and we’ll take all the help we can get,” he said.

The group recently dropped off thank you cards and goodie bags to healthcare workers at Lee Memorial Hospital. They are working with a local hospital to surprise staff there soon.

“One employee was so thankful to receive the card she told me ‘after last night’s shift, we really needed this’ ... that really touched my heart and helped me understand why this is so important.”

Last week, Kiselev and his clan did some volunteer work at the Winter Garden Presbyterian Church in Port Charlotte.

“We heard they needed help with unloading donations and stocking shelves,” Kiselev said. “They went from feeding 45 families to over 150 families since March. We plan to collect food donations for them, too.”

Last Friday the group hosted an environment cleanup project. They cleaned up a stretch of the road side on Loveland Boulevard in Port Charlotte.

Kiselev is in the process of creating a Facebook page for the group. There is currently an Instagram account that has 59 followers. Search for “Help When Need Fund” to follow their activities.

He said running the group and managing the activities is more work than he anticipated.

“It involves a lot more planning that one would think,” he said. “It’s actually very time consuming. We are following a lot of safety precautions and we follow advice from Keep Charlotte Beautiful.”

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