I originally started volunteering at the age of 9 for an organization by the name of IFAASD (Indian Fine Arts Academy San Diego). It brought culutural events from India to San Diego, where I live, and was able to connect the Indian community in a very artistic way. Of course, my motives at 9 were very different than they are today. My primary goal, was to get out of the boring concerts and to talk to my friends while serving, or selling food.
As I kept volunteering for IFAASD, and other events, I started to really like the idea of helping people. I was often told by parents and friends that I was an enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer. But it wasn't until I was publicly recognized at IFAASD's annual largescale concert that I took any of these comments seriously.
I persuaded my mom to enroll me in a local Indian volunteering orginization called Youth Seva Sangam (YSS). I started helping out where I could and quickly became an active volunteer in their monthly activities.
One of the places that YSS volunteers each month is Stand up for Kids. It is a homeless shelter in Downtown, San Diego and serves homeless "kids" (ages 18-25) with food, clothing, and other commodities. As I volunteered at Stand up for Kids over the years, I wanted to help the people less privileged than I in a way that would be both meaningful, and impactful.
We (Nikhil and I)had started the Night of Shadows project more than a year ago, with the aim of fundraising for the less privileged in India, but we were not sure what to fundraise for, or much less why we were fundraising.
Nikhil went on a trip to India through his High School (Bishops) a few months later and told me about the wonderful projects PCI was carrying out. We both knew PCI was the orginization that would put the money we raised to the best use.
We created the Night of Shadows (Version 2) with an aim of raising enough money for PCI to run their branch in India for a whole year. We were able to set up a meeting with the PCI director, Christopher Lee, to get our project approved and running. We hope to raise as much money as possible for PCI's great program in India, and look forward to generous donations from people like you!
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