Introducing Anaik Sachdev! This 11-year-old Paradise Valley resident started a nonprofit organization called Loving Library, which now has 14 chapters in Arizona, California, Texas, and the United Kingdom.
The idea came to him after a personal experience with COVID in March 2020. Several of his family members contracted COVID, including his grandmother, who had to be hospitalized. During this time period, they were all isolated. Anaik would FaceTime his grandmother every day and realized how lonely it was for her. So, they decided to pass the time by reading books. After this experience, he wanted to do something to help patients in hospitals. He reached out to the mayor and began the first chapter of Loving Library at Valleywise Health at the age of 9.
Currently, they support a variety of organizations including Valleywise Health, Afghanistan Refugee Center, St. Joseph’s NICU, Childhelp, and more. One of Anaik’s favorite memories from Loving Library was when he dropped off books at Valleywise Health. A nurse had come out and told him how happy the patients were to be receiving books from a 9-year-old, which made him feel so good, and he knew that he wanted to continue Loving Library. Another one of his most memorable experiences was at Circle the City, a healthcare center for the homeless. As Anaik was dropping off books, a patient came out to him and told Anaik about himself and his love for reading.
There are many people who have been supporting Anaik and Loving Library. Some of the most notable are actually kids. These helpers are called ambassadors, and they each support an individual organization within Loving Library. One of their primary jobs is preparing and delivering books.
Donations that are sent to the ambassadors get stamped on the corner of the first blank page, and once 100 to 500 books have been donated, the ambassadors take the books to the organization they represent. They also help lead the raffles at fundraising events, which is one of 12-year-old Sanaiya Badyal’s favorite activities. She’s currently an ambassador for Childhelp, an organization that provides treatment, intervention, and investigative services for abused or neglected children.
The Afghanistan Refugee Center is an additional organization that is supported by 9-year-old Jovin Sachdev, Anaik’s brother. He has a special connection to this center, as he became friends with a refugee at his school but was unable to fully connect with him due to a language barrier. Jovin decided to start another chapter of Loving Library at the Afghanistan Refugee Center to help his friend and his family.
Another ambassador who has been working with Loving Library since the start is Avaani Lallian, who is now 12 years old. She supports Childhelp as well, and she loves donating the books because it gives her a really good feeling, knowing that kids are going to be happy seeing the books.
Loving Library hosts a couple different fundraising events throughout the year. The next event, called Light Up The Library, is a glow party for people of all ages! It is on Saturday Sept. 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at Creighton University Health Sciences Campus, located at 3100 N. Central Ave., in Phoenix. The money raised from the admission fees and raffles will support their existing chapters and will help open five new ones.
For more information about this event, how to donate, and Loving Library in general, go to thelovinglibrary.org.