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Local teen puts out call to action as nonprofit is desperate for volunteers

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Posted at 4:30 PM, Jul 05, 2022

PHOENIX — The heart of a volunteer may be hard to describe but it’s certainly easy to spot when you see it. Fifteen-year-old Nikhil Sethi has been at it since he was a kid. Whether at food pantries or equine therapy organizations, he’s shown up to make a difference.

“I’ve realized that there’s so much need in my community among people that I see every day,” said Sethi.

That’s what has him shopping the grocery isles alongside valley senior Jan Anderson.

“It’s really simple, on your Sunday grocery run, you can help out a neighbor get their groceries that can’t go get them on their own,” said Nikhil.

Nikhil and his stepmom Jensina are working for a nonprofit called Duet Partners in Health and Aging. It's an organization whose volunteers provide free transportation assistance during grocery runs, medical appointments, and much more for homebound adults like Jan.

“It’s been really just wonderful to have people taking me to the grocery store but better than that, it’s the same people every week,” said Jan.

It’s a continuity that not only makes those getting the help more comfortable but helps blossom the unexpected as well.

“I like coming every Sunday and seeing Jan, I look forward to it,” said Nikhil, smiling at Jan. “It became more of a friendship between us, and now I can talk to her in the grocery store, and I can finish her sentences and I can know exactly where we need to go and what we need to get.”

“We have so many folks who just need to get to a doctor's appointment, to a grocery store,” said Jennifer Kabrud with Duet.

Kabrud says there is no shortage of our neighbors in need. The bigger problem is getting enough volunteers.

“We are in desperate need of volunteers, currently we have about 80 people on the waiting list, waiting for someone to step up,” said Kabrud.

The question is, will it be you? The process is simple and on their website. At the end of the day, like Nikhil, it’s all about heart. To give instead of receive. But the reward for that kindness is always worth it.

“It means so much to my life. Nikhil is an incredible young man,” said Jan.

Anyone interested in volunteering can learn more here.