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Maya Vidhyadharan's Fundraiser:

Feeding Homeless in St. James Park San Jose

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owner profile imageMaya Vidhyadharan via Crowdrise
June 16, 2012 from the homeless in St. James Park  See more


Maya Vidhyadharan


Objective: Raise money to feed the homeless people in St. James park 5 days a week. $40/day. 5 days = $200

On September 2011 I started feeding the homeless people after having lost my consulting job with Cisco. I realized if I am having a karmic lesson in the job loss, I need to do something to build good karma. So I made 20 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and with fear went into the park where there are gangs, people smoking drugs, and people who are mentally ill and disenfranchised.

I would quickly give the sandwich without looking into the people's eyes and get into my car - grateful my car was not broken into!!! I would feed 2-3 times a week, and each time it was quick-n-go. Then my fears started leaving me and I would stand up to the gangs in my own way when they would yell out for "Lamb"! My limited budget made peanut butter a stretch. Soon I progressed to salami sandwiches ( I have never eaten a salami before)! I was always particular about buying organic, which I have let go now, so I can feed more.

With time, I started connected with the people - looking into their eyes and then I started receiving BIG TIME. They would look deeply into my eyes, with heart open and gratitude shining in their eyes, many would softly say " May God bless you". I was so touched. I understood the strength of human spirit through the eyes of the homeless. Soon, people working at Togo's or Subway who make my sandwiches would start saying "May God bless you" and their face would light up when they know the food was for the homeless.

Now, I am really growing - I have a friend Maricela Hernandez Ascencio who is volunteering her time to buy food from Costco and she really is a wizard at stretching $40 to make over 50 sandwiches - sometimes even 75!!

I go there twice a week and with Maricela's help we are able to feed them 3 meals a week.

Here is a video of the homeless people

They are terribly camera shy and one day I hope to create more video.



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