Commentary: Now’s not the time? By Sanya Pirani Holding Hope Nov 18, 2023

Thank you South West Media for featuring Sanya’s Commentary.

Here is the link to read.

You may call me a Grinch, but I cannot stand Christmas decorations, music, or festivities until after Thanksgiving. I avoid all things Christmas until exactly the day after Thanksgiving. However, I fear that many of us avoid current events the same way I avoid Christmas festivities.

Especially while family members sit together to eat Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, it’s often custom to avoid politics or societal concerns. It would bring down the mood to talk about depressing topics, right? However, when we avoid topics like these in our own families, we make these topics appear taboo.

It’s the time of year to finally remove “now’s not the time” from our phrases because we must always make time to speak out about worldly concerns. When we finally make an effort to speak about these issues, we can inspire ourselves and others to help make a difference. With rising tension throughout the world and increased economic concerns, it is essential that we inform and educate our community so that everyone can play a part in benefiting our society.

When gathered around the dinner table this holiday season, have a progressive approach. I urge you to talk about the “hard to talk about” subject matters. Talk about politics, talk about social justice issues, talk about economics, talk about climate change. Refuse to stay silent this holiday season, because these topics deserve to be heard.


If you’re interested in doing your part to help our community, my nonprofit organization Sanya’s Hope For Children has lots of volunteering opportunities this time of year. This year we need help. We are short on volunteers, funds, and sponsors. Here’s what you can do to help:


  • We are looking for 40-50 volunteers on Dec. 8-9 for our holiday bag event (AKA Christmas Bag). To sign up, visit
  • We are currently having toy drive for our holiday event at La Ola del Lago / Grainwood. Please donate any new toys for elementary homeless students.
  • We are short on mittens for our drive. If anyone would like to donate, please let us know via email at
  • We are looking for a competent driver to help us with transportation for two or three days in early December. Volunteer drivers will pick up our rented truck on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and help us transport items from SHFC’s garage to Shepherd of the Lake Church-Prior Lake. On Dec. 9, the driver will be arrive to Shepherd of the Lake at 2 p.m. (more details will be discussed with the volunteer directly). Contact us if you are interested.
  • We are very close to meeting our goal of feeding 700 Haitian children for a year via Feed My Starving Children. I am fundraising $56,210. I have only $24,000 left to finish my goal. I urge the community to help me achieve my mighty goal. The link to donate is

Business partners: If you are a corporate partner or a business owner, you can offer matching funds or you can keep our compassion jars in your store location to collect loose change for us.

Please feel free to reach out via email if you have any questions regarding any of our projects or any concerns.

Sanya Pirani is a senior at Prior Lake High School and the founder/CEO of Sanya’s Hope For Children, a nonprofit organization. She is the Youth Ambassador for CAP Agency in Scott, Dakota and Carver counties. SHFC was founded in January 2017 and is committed to helping children by transforming communities one life at a time.

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