WHEATLAND (CBS13) — A Yuba County high school student is going above and beyond to help homeless teenagers fulfill basic needs, like brushing their teeth and washing their hair.
What started as a small project in Wheatland brought in donations from the Sacramento Kings and other big organizations.
“We grab the bag we put the shampoo and conditioner and toothbrush and toothpaste and the combs and at the end, we zip them up,” said Daysha Trujillo, the 14-year-old Wheatland Union High School freshman who spearheaded this project.
A little can go a long way when it comes to hygiene. Items many take for granted could change a homeless teenager’s entire outlook.
“When you’re not clean you have a low self-esteem and you don’t feel confident, so that’s the biggest part. If you’re clean you feel more confident,” Trujillo said.
Trujillo put herself in their shoes, then created a nonprofit to help. She spent more than a year collecting donations and raising money to buy these items.
“I said, ‘Wow I have all of these things, I have shampoo, I have conditioner, I have a roof over my head.’ I started to feel bad for the people who didn’t have enough money for those needs,” she said.
The donations have been packaged up and are ready for delivery, benefitting 400 homeless students.
“It just makes me step back and realize that I’m very lucky to have a child like her that’s making a difference,” said Erika Trujillo, Daysha’s mom.
According to the Department of Education, between 2017 and 2018, California schools reported about 270,000 homeless children, but a state audit claims this number is actually much higher, closer to 370,000.
Daysha is starting her project local but hopes to expand and help homeless students in Sacramento and beyond.
“I hope they feel happy and that they feel ‘Wow somebody actually cared enough to gather all these things and put them in a bag just for me to have,’” she said.
She has also started a website for the nonprofit: http://www.trukidz.org/