Local teens make a difference during COVID-19 pandemic with Joys of Giving

Vanesha Hari and Varshini Hari from the Lake Washington School District co-founded a nonprofit initiative called Joys of Giving (www.joysofgiving.org). Courtesy photo

Vanesha Hari and Varshini Hari from the Lake Washington School District co-founded a nonprofit initiative called Joys of Giving (www.joysofgiving.org). Courtesy photo

Vanesha Hari and Varshini Hari from the Lake Washington School District co-founded a nonprofit initiative called Joys of Giving (www.joysofgiving.org) to bring hope, opportunity and resources to anyone in need focusing specifically on educational equity. Starting in 2016, they have raised $12,800 for various nonprofits, volunteered 100+ hours and collaborated with 5+ global nonprofit organizations. If only these numbers could talk, there will be numerous acts of kindness and stories of joy and inspiration to share with the world!

Their most recent community service initiative was fueled by what was noticed around them during the pandemic of Covid-19. There was a need to raise funds to provide free meals for the underserved children in the school district and to support mental health programs. When kids don’t know whether they will get their next meal, how can they possibly focus on math or science? Hence, they connected with Lake Washington Schools Foundation (LWSF) to start a fundraiser and have donated $2,000 toward this cause. They strongly believe that in each one of us there is unlimited potential, unique talent and together we have a civic responsibility to lift others as we climb.

Their nonprofit initiative is also now expanding community service work globally by raising funds for a children’s home in India where several destitute children especially girls need education, meals, and necessities. After few visits to India, they were inspired to make a difference to help the underprivileged communities. Together they are bringing the joy and passion for culinary arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to host workshops, outreach and help fundraise for these local and international nonprofits. Their recent first virtual baking workshop in June 2020, raised $600 to help this nonprofit in India.

Vanesha Hari was 1 out of 1200+ students in her middle school to be awarded the Community Service Award for exemplary service, empathy, founding a nonprofit initiative for the betterment of our community! Vanesha and Varshini also have a passion to fade the gender boundaries in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and have mentored and taught young girls more than 300+ hours in various topics of math and technology, especially the underserved. Vanesha was also recently selected as the youngest to receive the ‘STEM in Action’ community award by the world’s largest advocate of women technologists (Society of Women Engineers).

In the end, they want all of us to live in a world where every individual from all walks of life has equal opportunity and can access the profound power of education and technology. The mission of the initiative strives to focus on what they can do each day to make a small difference. Each of us, wherever we are, do have the opportunity to do the same. If everyone does something to better the world, our collective work will in fact make the world a lot better, for the people we love, and for our society.

There is a long road ahead and they are just getting started on this journey. To learn more, visit www.joysofgiving.org and if you wish to donate and contribute please visit https://www.joysofgiving.org/events.html

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.




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