Omaha Teenager coordinates donation of thousands of masks and protective gear for second time

Posted at 6:58 AM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 10:10:07-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — In March of 2020, the pandemic struck. COVID cases began rising throughout the country and here in the metro.

14-year-old Renee Samieva didn’t want to sit around and wait for the worst. Instead, she acted.

“I wanted to do something for the community as a way to give back in unprecedented time that no one expected,” Samieva said.

She was able to help coordinate the donation of more than 100,000 masks and gloves to customers at any of the metro’s 25 Mega Saver locations, along with shelters, medical centers, and police departments.

“Mega Saver was a great help in putting that together and help me make my little vision into something very big,” Samieva said.

Fast forward to now as omicron started to spread through the community once again, and mask mandates returned to Omaha.

Samieva, now 16, was ready for round two.

“She brought all her saving to do this, to make this happen,” Mega Saver COO Lola Khalikova said. “She took her savings and said, ‘I’m putting in my savings, will you guys help me with this idea again?’ And obviously the Mega Saver corporate office came together as a team again.”

They currently have received more than 20,000 KN-95 and KN-94 masks, along with more gloves and face shields.

An upgrade from the original surgical masks two years ago.

“Now in round two, I want to do bigger and better,” Samieva said. “That starts with getting better equipment.”

Last Monday it was Open Door Mission stopping by to collect over 2,000 KN-95 and KN-94 masks, 2,000 gloves, and nearly 500 face shields.

This is just the beginning.

“People are in need and if you have the resources to fulfill them, then I feel like that’s the right thing to do,” Samieva said.

“It’s great to see our younger generation be humble, and caring, and giving back to the community we live in,” Khalikova said. “It’s definitely something that you don’t see a lot of.”

There's no age limit to impact a community. Just ask Samieva.

“No matter how young you are it’s just about how driven and motivated you are to make a change. You can make a big difference in so many people’s lives and you may not even know it, but it’s very accomplishable,” Samieva said. “Just having that faith in yourself is very important.”

If you or an organization need masks, face shields, or gloves, Samieva and Mega Saver ask that you reach out to the corporate office. You can do that by calling 402-399-5377.

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