Hello, my name is Jet Jadeja. I am 14 years old and live in Los Angeles. I am in 8th grade, and I attend Windward School. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on so many communities across the country. Small businesses, including our neighborhood restaurants and stores, have lost a lot of business or have been forced to close. Some of these businesses that close may never open again, and many employees will lose their jobs. The thought of these businesses shutting down, and the impact that would have on so many people, was hard for me to see. I wanted to come up with a way to help.
One day, I was watching a video where a chef who works at a small restaurant told the viewers that they should buy gift cards from his business. This sparked an idea. What if we could encourage the community to spend money now for things they would want or use in the future when the world returns to normal. For example, maybe people could spend some money now on gift cards, down payments on services, prepayments or even gift purchases for later in the year. That way the businesses could get some extra cash now to help them survive until things are back to normal. If businesses could get some extra cash now, they could use that cash to stay alive and potentially pay employees as well.
To help spread this idea, I created a website, payitforwardla.org. I just wanted to create awareness but also offer up ideas for how we could help. To be honest, I haven’t figured out how to get traffic to the website, but people have shared ideas with me in person and I have added them as well as websites where people can make donations.