Volunteer Spotlight: Vaishnavi Uppalapati

Kits to Heart assembled 70 kits on New Year's Eve 2022!

Kits to Heart volunteers assembled a record 70 cancer care kits in an hour on New Year's Eve in 2022!

This month, Kits to Heart is so proud to feature one of our newer volunteers— Vaishnavi Uppalapati, a student from Kingsview Middle School in Germantown, MD.

Ever since we first met on New Year's Eve a few months ago, we have been so impressed by her dedication and positivity that she brings to each in-person kit assembly, where she also drops off various handmade items to make our kits even more special!

Check out what motivates her to continue supporting our cause with this Q&A below.

Kits to Heart: What made you want to start volunteering with Kits to Heart?

Vaishnavi Uppalapati: I was looking for some opportunities to volunteer on the Montgomery County Public Schools Volunteer website and came across KTH. It just stood out to me because of its meaningful cause, which I wanted to be a part of. I'm also interested in art, so I immediately knew this was a good opportunity for me.

KTH: You have participated in various activities, making origami, care bear towels, blankets, and handwritten cards! What has motivated you to keep making these items for Kits to Heart? Which of the activities do you like doing the most?

VU: When I read some of the heartwarming messages from the cancer patients about KTH, I was moved by how much of an impact these kits had on the recipients. Knowing that I can make a difference in someone else’s life has motivated me to make as many items as I can in my free time. As for the activities, I love the handwritten cards.

KTH: What is the most special part for you when it comes to volunteering for Kits to Heart?

VU: The most special part of volunteering for KTH is that I can make the items of my choice at my convenience. I can make them at my own pace and submit them when they are ready. Also, there is no limit on creativity—I can customize the cards or other items to my preference.

KTH: How have you enjoyed helping with the in-person kit assemblies? What inspired you to take on a more active role and keep coming back to help?

VU: In-person kit assemblies are so much fun as I get to see how everything comes together! The very first in-person session that I attended was on New Year’s Eve. At the end of the session, Sonia had mentioned that it was a record as we had assembled nearly 70 kits. This motivated me to keep coming back and see if we can break the previous record. This gives me immense satisfaction because the more kits we assemble, the more lives we touch. My goal for the future is to make each and every item that is needed to assemble a kit!!

KTH: What would you say to someone interested in volunteering for Kits to Heart?

VU: I would suggest attending the kit assemblies first! These helped me understand what items are needed the most and the item size so that it could fit the KTH box. And then, start making something that interests you. Above all, have fun and know that you are motivating someone during their tough times.

Kits to Heart volunteers

Vaishnavi (third from left) with our volunteers who helped to break the record of assembling 70 kits in an hour on New Year's Eve!


Keep up the amazing work, Vaishnavi! We are very lucky to have you and your support. While in-person kit assemblies will be paused for the spring, we welcome anyone interested in helping to bring smiles to browse our remote volunteer opportunities.

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  • Sureka Kakarlapudi on

    Great job Vaishnavi. You are an inspiration to other kids. Keep giving.

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