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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont
In the current world we live in, it can feel impossible to make a difference or make the change we wish to see, but it’s definitely possible if we look inside our own lives and find what we care about, and then go about making that difference.
That is exactly what rising sophomore Aditya Mittal did.
Aditya rallied American High School’s Red Cross Club to fundraise for the Tri City Volunteers (TCV) Food Bank and Thrift Store in Fremont. So far, they’ve raised over $6000.
Aditya was a long-time Boy Scout volunteer at the Tri-City Volunteers Food Bank when he learned first hand about its struggle to keep up with the overwhelming demand during the COVID-19 crisis. As a result of the shelter-in-place lockdown, TCV Food Bank was in dire need of monetary support because of loss of revenue from the associated thrift store.
Aditya, who is the Student Body Representative of his high school’s Red Cross Club, decided that the pandemic gave him the time to make a difference and do something for his community. He mobilized the Club to start an online fundraiser to support TCV.
With the help of the entire community, Fremont City Council members, teachers, friends and family, the Club was able to reach its initial goal of $3000 in just 4 days. Encouraged by the incredible support, they raised the goal to $5000 and were able to achieve that in under a week and are still going strong.
“With job disruptions and school closing indefinitely, millions of people are turning to food banks for the basic necessity of food,” explained Aditya in an appeal to the community. “Food Banks like TCV Food Bank are struggling to keep up with the overwhelming demand. They need our help to feed the hungry!”
At TCV, $3000 will give 300 meals and each meal provides 2-3 days of food for one family. Without the revenue from their thrift store, during the current lockdown, they are operating from contributions raised by people like Aditya.
“He’s already a “Hunger Hero” in our mind!” says TCV.
“The need to feed has increased and keeps increasing at an alarming rate,” said TCV. “As we see more families affected by loss of income — the need to put food on their family’s table is becoming a challenge. That’s why we are here — and we are doing everything possible to step up in this time of uncertainty. Unfortunately, our Thrift Store remains closed — and this was a substantial revenue source for us that, for now, has gone. However, both community partners and individuals continue to step forward to show monetary support which is greatly needed at this time.”
“TCV – they’re very selfless people,” Aditya said. “They really take pride in what they’re doing. It’s just a complete nonprofit.”
In the first four days, their GoFundMe raised $3000 and within a week, they raised $5000. Recently Apple awarded the team a corporate match of $500 which will take the total to $6317 and so the team is very excited to cross $6000.
Fremont Unified School District gave a shout-out to the team’s efforts to raise funds for TCV.
“I think people could really connect with this because it’s a localized business,” Aditya commented. “It’s an individual establishment. I think people could really connect with it because they knew where their money was going.”
Just $10 can feed a family for several days, so even if someone donates just that, it can help make a change in someone else’s life by donating just $20 or even less than that.
Every dollar makes a difference.
You can donate to TCV Food Bank at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/hua9y-d
Kaavya Butaney is a sophomore at Los Altos High School in Los Altos, CA. She writes for her school newspaper, The Talon, and loves speech and debate and choir. Kaavya is an intern at India Currents.
Edited by Meera Kymal, contributing editor at India Currents