Redmond Middle School student raises money for low-income families

Om Shah, 13, created a GoFundMe to support the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

When Redmond Middle School student Om Shah, 13, saw the coronavirus pandemic impacting people in his community, he decided it was time to act.

Shah created a GoFundMe to raise money for the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

“After the outbreak in Wuhan, [China] I didn’t really think about the coronavirus that much. It’s across the ocean, it won’t affect me,” Shah said. “Then we started seeing cases in Washington and I was like, ‘This is right outside my neighborhood, I should probably do something about it.’”

According to the foundation’s website, “the Fund makes grants to nonprofits that are working on the frontlines to provide our region’s most vulnerable communities with emergency assistance, such as financial support, health care, and childcare.”

In the past, Shah said he wanted to create fundraisers but with school being out due to the pandemic, he said he now has time to put toward creating the GoFundMe.

“After school closed, I was like, ‘I have six weeks of time to do something that really, really matters and will impact the community around me,’” Shah said.

Shah said he wants to help low-income residents who have been hit the hardest.

“These people who live from paycheck to paycheck, they don’t have much of a chance. They’re fighting something way bigger than us,” Shah said. “This coronavirus is impacting all of us, but it is impacting the lower -income families the most.”

Shah’s GoFundMe has raised $185 so far, but he hopes that he can surpass the goal of $1,000. While some people may be skeptical about GoFundMe campaigns, Shah said his campaign is honest and candid.

“I really want people to know that this is an honest campaign,” Shah said. “This is something that is actually going to contribute to a real response fund from a big organization in Seattle.”

The GoFundMe can be found at