Senior Riya Contractor Stands Up for Cancer Patients by Decorating Care Packages


Credit to Photo Submitted

Senior Riya Contractor sits in the back of a car with care packages for charity.

By Abby Keathley

Giving back to the community can be as simple as decorating a box. Yet, there seems to be a deficiency of students partaking in charity and community service. Senior Riya Contractor, however, is a student at FHN who does give back to the community, and loves it, through Show Me Care Bags. 

“It means a lot, because being able to help others is something I really value and enjoy. Doing these care packages is another outlet for me to enjoy what I do,” Contractor said.

Show Me Care Bags is a charity that creates care packages for cancer patients who are in the hospital or going through chemotherapy. It is a non-profit organization that relies entirely on fundraising and donations to complete its mission. The packages are made up of donated items that will provide a patient comfort and entertainment while they are by themselves, like word searches, coloring books, blankets, or anything of the sort. The outside of the boxes are decorated with inspirational messages and symbols, with the hopes of making patients feel more at ease when they have to go through treatments. Contractor got involved with Show Me Care Bags through the National Honor Society (NHS), an organization that is centered around students doing community service.

“Show Me Care Bags is a great organization. I’m really glad that we partnered with them the last few years here, and I keep looking forward to the time when I can bring a bigger group to them,” said Angie Mason, NHS sponsor.

Helping those in need is one of Contractor’s passions in life. She feels strongly about her work with Show Me Care Bags, because going through chemotherapy is physically and emotionally draining, and not everyone has someone there to support them. Creating the care packages is a way she can show the patient someone is thinking of them and they are cared for.

“I hope that when I create them, they have a positive impact, because it can be hard to go through chemo and be alone,” Contractor said. “I hope they feel comfortable and motivated.”

Throughout her high school career, Contractor has exemplified kindness and leadership skills. In the 2019-2020 school year, she was elected NHS president by her peers. She enjoys participating in things that give her the opportunity to take charge and lend a hand to those who need it.

“She’s just a great person. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her, see her leadership skills shine,” said Mason. 

Before getting involved in charity, Contractor used to be more quiet and reserved, and was less sure of what direction she wanted to take in life. Her work with Show Me Care Bags has impacted her decision, prompting her to want to go into healthcare administration, due to her interest in business and her passion for helping others.

“It has made me very grateful for what I have and more positive as a person, because I’m impacting others in a positive way,”  Contractor said.

Contractor also plans on continuing to do more charity work after high school. She hopes to set an example for her fellow students to get more involved in their communities through charity. Not only does doing so brighten someone else’s day, but she believes it is a useful way to discover one’s passions and develop interests.

“I think it’s important for students to find something they like,” Contractor said. “It helps people explore their passions. It’s helped me discover my passions.”