Future Doctor Shows Care And Love In Every Bag Decorated

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Nandhana starting volunteering in our Bag Decorating Program last year. She checks out 200 bags and, despite her hectic schedule, manages to return them decorated every 2-3 months. Nandhana puts love and compassion into every bag she decorates, and we’re excited to feature her and her work.

A child drawing on brown paper bags that will accompany medically tailored meals to Project Angel Heart clients.

How long have you been decorating bags for Project Angel Heart?

I have been decorating bags for Project Angel Heart for roughly a year. I started sometime during the initial COVID phase, and so far I have done about 800 bags.

What interests you about our bag-decorating program?

As someone who is preparing to be a doctor in the future, I want to help patients in whatever way I can. I am trying to show my care and love with every bag I draw, hoping that it will bring a smile to their faces. This is a gratification I very much need to motivate me to continue my efforts in becoming a doctor.

Do your family and friends know that you do this work?

Yes, my family and a few friends know that I do this work. They really appreciate this work and encourage me to get involved in more ways. They occasionally draw a few pictures as well. 

What is the inspiration for your artwork?

Pain and illness affect all types of people; it is truly universal. I try to make my bags with art from different cultures. I am not an artist, not even remotely a good middle school level drawer, but I try to express my love and care through my drawings.  When I am taking my daily runs, if I see an elderly couple on the streets, I draw them. If I see a balloon, I draw the balloon. If I see some African art, I try to draw that. But underneath it all, I express my impact of the day through these bags. I make these drawings cheerful and funny, and sometimes crazy. I hope they make the people that receive them wonder what kind of crazy kid would have drawn these bags and would smile, laugh, and lighten up. This is enough to bring sunshine to my day.

What made you decide to decorate 200 bags at once?

I like drawing. But the reason I pick 200 bags at once is because we live at the other end of the town. If I do 10-15 bags at a time, I would be troubling my parents to drive me 50 miles to pick up and drop off these bags every week. So I pick up 200 at a time, and do at my own pace, and only drive once in 2-3 months.

What do you like about decorating meal bags?

My schedule is very tight, and I run to school, soccer, internships, and activities starting at 6am through 10pm. When I get drained out, I like to draw. This activity freshens my mind, revitalizes, and gives me energy. While I like the art aspect of it, I also feel like I am doing it with purpose. Instead of filling empty pages with crayons, I am happy to think that I am doing it for a cause, a cause to make a small happy difference in the life of someone who is ailing.

Anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to express myself. I am constantly in search of opportunities to help patients. I have recently signed up to help at a hospice as well. In the future, I hope to be a good doctor who can save lives.

Help bring cheer to our clients by decorating meal delivery bags! Meal bags are picked up at our offices and decorated offsite at your location. This is a great way to introduce volunteers of all ages and abilities to the service provided by Project Angel Heart and have a positive impact on the lives of our clients. All ages may participate.

NEW FOR 2021: Fill the meal bags you decorate with nourishing meals! Each gift of $60 fills a meal bag for one Coloradan facing a life-threatening health condition. And thanks to our friends at Seattle Fish Co., your gift will be MATCHED, dollar-for-dollar! This is a great way to double your impact for Coloradans in need of nourishing, medically tailored meals. Make your gift today.

Questions about bag decoration? In the Denver/Boulder area, contact Alexandra at adougherty@projectangelheart.org or 303.830.0202. In Colorado Springs, call 303.830.0202 or 800.381.5612.