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SHS students gather books for United Way’s 518 Day

| May 17, 2019

peter gannon, Vaishali Gupta, Labika Baral, and Erica Collier pose for a pictureShaker High School students are participating in the United Way of the Greater Capital Region’s 518 Day of Service by helping fill a CDTA bus with books. Juniors Vaishali Gupta and Labika Baral worked with the SHS Key Club to gather the hundreds of books, which were donated to the United Way on Friday.

“When you hear of the extraordinary stuff these kids are doing, it’s impressive to me,” said Peter Gannon, President and CEO of the United Way, Greater Capital Region. “These kids will change the world, and it’s happening right here at Shaker.”

Gannon is also a Shaker graduate, and spoke of the high quality education that helped him succeed after he left Shaker’s halls. “It may feel commonplace when you’re living in it, but this is an extraordinary environment to get your education in.”

Vaishali Gupta and Labika Baral pose for a picture518 Day started a year ago when the United Way wanted to create a day to highlight everything great in the Capital Region. There are over 50 projects and charities the United Way is working with as part of the day, including filling a CDTA bus with 10,000 books.

“They really did all of this, I’m so proud of them,” said Erica Collier, Key Club Advisor, about Vaishali and Labika. “And that’s the goal of Key Club, to make students leaders.”

“The whole school participated in our book drive, especially the Key Club and the Colonie Library,” said Labika. “Everyone was really eager to help.”

“We’re really inspired by our school and there’s always kids doing service projects and a spirit of giving back,” said Vaishali. Both students say they were motivated to help by their love of education and growing up with books, and realizing that not every child has that type of opportunity.

“I think what the Key Club students have done is another example of organic ideas that come from our students to help fulfill community needs and take action,” said Mr. Richard Murphy, Shaker High School Principal. “We’re just so proud of the ideas and actions that come from our students.”

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