Blaine teen sells samosas for charity

Published on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 by Steve Guntli

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Blaine High School senior Serena Sall spent her summer working on her senior project, and wound up raising funds to help over a dozen needy families. 

Sall’s senior project required her to complete at least 20 hours of community service for the charity of her choice. She chose, an international charity co-founded by actor Matt Damon that supplies clean drinking water to developing nations.  

“I was amazed to learn that something like 780 million people don’t have access to clean drinking water, and 3.4 million people die from water-related illnesses every year,” Sall said. “Here, you don’t even think about it when you take a bath or 
pour a glass of water.”

Sall said the cause appealed to her because she feels clean drinking water should be a universal human right. She was also amazed at how much good could be done for a relatively small amount of money. 

According to  a donation of $25 can provide clean drinking water for life for one person. This is accomplished by digging wells in developing villages and educating the indigenous people about proper water maintenance and health care.  

Sall decided to raise the money in her own way: selling samosas. 

“It was my grandma’s recipe originally,” Sall said. “She started teaching me to make them about three or four years ago, and now I make them all the time.” 

Sall decided to sell the fried treats, stuffed with peas, potatoes, cilantro and herbs, for $2 each at the various summer festivals around Blaine, with the goal of raising $250 – enough to provide water for 10 people. By the end of the summer, she’d raised around $425, and while the amount may seem insignificant, it will provide a lifetime of clean water for 17 people. 

“The community really stepped up and helped out,” Sall said. 

Sall said an essential component of her project’s success was the Blaine Visitor Information Center’s Carroll Solomon. 

“When I found out I could be working on my project over the summer, it was already too late for me to get a booth in at the Fourth of July,” Sall said. “I knew that was going to be where I made the most money, so I explained what I was doing to Carroll, and she worked really hard and found a last minute space for me.”

Sall was also able to set up her samosa booth at both the Birch Bay Discovery Days festival and Drayton Harbor Days. She wound up spending almost twice the required hours to complete her project, but she also nearly doubled her goal, and funds are still coming in through the website she set up for the project. 

“I’m just so happy to have met my fundraising goal, and I know it’s the people in this community who helped me do it,” she said. 

After graduation, Sall hopes to attend Western Washington University, where she intends to stay active in humanitarian causes. 

For more information on the cause, or to make a donation to Sall’s project, visit