How I'm Supporting People Affected By Addiction

Dave Patel
The author on the beach with his dog

My name is Dave Patel and I am a rising senior in high school. I recently connected with Shatterproof because their mission is really important to me. I love the music of Amy Winehouse and take a lot of inspiration from her. I wasn't really into music when she was in her prime (I had bigger problems, like trying to learn multiplication). I did, however, see how the world reacted to her death. I was really impacted by that, and it made me want to support people affected by addiction.

Lots of my friends’ families have had a lot of trouble with addiction. The worst thing about it is that, as a bystander who doesn't know this person, there is not much you can do. Especially as a kid, I didn't know enough about how to help people who are addicted. That's not something they really teach in school. They just tell us that drugs are bad. I believe it's more complicated than that. I think that people who are addicted know that drugs are bad—the hard part is telling them that reality is better without drugs. This is why I have so much respect for charities like Shatterproof because they actually help these people. I can't just sit back and watch families get split apart. So I decided to help as much as I can, even if it only helps one person.

So, this year I started an e-commerce business called CharityCaps. CharityCaps is an online e-commerce store where the idea of the website is to help raise money for charities. I sell bucket hats and baseball caps with custom designs and each one is assigned to a charity. Profits from that specific design will go directly to its assigned charity. Shatterproof is one of the charities that we are supporting.

I had the idea for CharityCaps because of all the problems that came about in 2020. I realized that this year was hard on a lot of people and that a lot of people are unhappy because of all the problems in the world. I kept seeing people my age making a difference, but I never really realized that I have everything I need to do the same. I choose to sell bucket hats and caps because it shows people that something as random as a bucket hat can make a change in someone's life, and shows that someone as random as a Floridian high-schooler can do the same. In that sense, a hat represents the idea that anyone can help change the world even if it's only a little.

If you want to support CharityCaps and our efforts to help Shatterproof, you can visit our website: