Symond Boschetto

Symond Boschetto

2021 Amazing Kids - West Linn Tidings - West Linn
Age: 14
School: Rosemont Ridge Middle School
Hometown: West Linn, Or
Why he is Amazing: Boschetto finds new ways to help those in need in the Portland area while navigating the pandemic.

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West Linn middle schooler shares hope

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, Symond Boschetto had to rethink the way he ran his nonprofit, Share Hope USA.

Symond was 8 years old when he began helping people experiencing homelessness in Southern California and launched Share Hope. Since then, he’s helped bring food, hygiene products, blankets and other necessities to more than 10,000 people.

Now, the 14-year-old Rosemont Ridge Middle School eighth grader and West Linn resident is learning how to help those in need in and around the Portland metro area, all while navigating the pandemic. For that, he is honored as Pamplin Media Group’s Amazing Kid from West Linn in 2021.

Before the pandemic hit, Boschetto, his family and a group of volunteers brought food and supplies into local homeless camps once a month. They also regularly served food at homeless shelters. But because of COVID-19, they had to pause those practices for over a year.

The group also had to pause in-person fundraising events that financed the food and care packages volunteers brought to the camps.

Boschetto and his dad, Russell, who helps him run Share Hope, noted that the organization had already established a website and social media presence which allowed them to continue connecting with people despite the restrictions of the pandemic.

Share Hope used its social media influence to gather furniture for a local family in need around Thanksgiving. Boschetto said the family had been without a home for a while and when they finally secured a home, the father lost his job. Share Hope furnished the home for the family.

Another of Boschetto’s favorite events is a Play-Doh drive for local children’s hospitals. With no in-person school last spring, he couldn’t hold the drive in his first year at Rosemont Ridge.

 

In the years before the Boschettos moved to West Linn, Boschetto hosted the Play-Doh drive at school as a competition between classes, collecting as many as 30,000 Play-Doh containers one year.

With West Linn-Wilsonville School District schools now partially open for in-person learning, Boschetto is excited to share the experience with his classmates for the benefit of patients at Portland’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Boschetto said he hopes the Play-Doh drive will help build Share Hope’s following in the Portland area. “I’m excited to get that going again,” he said. “It can get us more followers and help us get a good foundation up here.”

Boschetto said that gaining a following in his new home during a pandemic has been challenging, but many people in the community — particularly from Rosemont Ridge and the Gladstone School District where his mother works — have gotten on board with Share Hope’s mission.

While Share Hope has emphasized the overall health of people experiencing homelessness, regularly giving out food, hygiene products, blankets and other care items, Boschetto said the pandemic has made him think more deeply about health and homelessness.

He said he’d like to help people get vaccinated and connect them with other health resources when they need it.

Boschetto also said he’s learned a lot from the pandemic, most importantly how quickly life can change. “Something like (a virus) can pop out of nowhere and travel across the world in two weeks,” he said.

That spontaneity has shown Share Hope the importance of being flexible and adapting to new situations. The West Linn woman who nominated Boschetto as West Linn’s Amazing Kid, a friend of the Boschetto family, said he is “truly an amazing kid,” particularly for all he’s accomplished with Share Hope.