When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March and students suddenly stopped going to school, many lost their social networks, motivation and essentially ended up wasting a lot of time online, at least according to their parents.
But over time, some brilliant ideas also emerged in some young minds. One Montrealer and his father took the opportunity to build a business with a purpose.
“We had the idea of starting something, maybe to raise money for covid so we came up with the idea of the care packages” said 15-year-old Elan Vigderhous.
“As we started to do everything and it was coming together, my grandfather went to the hospital because of his melanoma and we decided that we should raise money for his cause.”
When the Royal Vale High School student ended up with spare time on his hands, his father didn’t always approve of his son’s time-management skills.
“He was basically sitting at home,” said Dan Vigderhous. “I’m not much of a home-schooler but I do understand business, I own a business of my own so what I decided to do was teach him what I knew.”
Elan went from spending most of his time “sitting on my computer at home and chilling on the couch,” to learning the ropes to becoming a businessman.
He and his dad would sit together for about an hour everyday, and Elan eventually built his own business plan, financial forecasts and even organized a Zoom meeting to pitch to investors, who happened to be his grandparents.
He also designed the website and flyers while printing the labels and bottling the hand sanitizers, all while sporting a mask and gloves.
“It’s a whole lot more than I thought I’d ever do but it’s actually been pretty fun,” said Elan.
The care packages include a week’s worth of supplies, with seven masks and sets of gloves, hand sanitizer and Elan’s favourite sweets, Welsh’s candy.
Elan tries to deliver within 48 hours “or as fast as my bike can take me,” as indicated on his website.
His initial goal was to help people stay safe and help his grandfather. In the end, he has learned the value of family, money and hard work.
“It’s been a lot of work but everyone has been really supportive of it, my whole family and my friends,” said Elan. “It’s been a lot of fun to do.”
His father spoke of pride for his son’s initiative.
“The idea for his grandfather was very touching and to raise money for his grandfather, I know his grandfather appreciates it very much,” said Vigderhous.
“I’ve been there to guide him but for the most part he’s been self-sufficient and I am very impressed he really did it on his own and that’s the best lesson of all that I could see him taking initiative.”