Updated: Jun 19
Amidst this pandemic, 10 young youth board members from VT Seva raised more than 5,000 dollars together with hard work, passion, and persistence. 10 kids from VT Seva Detroit Youth Board, started an online fundraiser using GoFundMe.com –VT Seva is a non-profit volunteer organization which is mostly run with the help of the youth board.
During these unprecedented times, they all knew that most people are helpless, the
orders are to stay home, and stay put. They knew they had to do something for the frontliners who are risking their lives everyday. This idea was thought of by one of the youth board member Harish Jaisankar, who then readily shared his idea with the others. Together everyone agreed that this was the best way for them to help out was only possible by staying apart. As Livonia has the second highest number of COVID - 19 cases in Michigan they decided to support the St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, MI. The ten of them quickly began putting in efforts, spreading the word as much as they could, starting an online fundraiser, and making it their goal to make a difference. It started out fairly slow, just like any other large project does. But they kept persisting, and over the next couple of days they started to hit it off. They reached their first $1,000. Harish, Oviya, Saisha, Kaavya, Anagha, Amogh, Abhinav, Hrudya and Nikita are the ambitious 10 who made this possible. Over this journey, they pushed and pushed until they reached the peak of their mountain. The results were shocking. People who weren’t even reached out to, donated to the cause. They finally raised more than their goal of 5,000 dollars.
Their goal was only achieved with the hard work put in by all of the youth board...even while they were stuck at home. They put in all of their effort to get people to donate, and raise their spirits. Posting all over social media, creating hashtags, sharing with friends, family, school clubs and many others. They put effort, and precious time to convince people to donate to this wonderful cause, and pass on the message. Together they were able to make a difference in this world, and help those around them to be safer and healthier. It was a small step, but a step in the right direction nevertheless.
The kids who came up with this project had many things to say about it:
“This experience has been great and it feels amazing to support those risking their lives to keep us safe. I’ve seen the stories about how hard it has been for the medical professionals and they deserve all the support they can get”—Harish Jaisankar. Youngest member of this team Oviya Jaisankar says: “This campaign expanded my horizons in reaching out to people and I’m proud of supporting the frontliners.”
Saisha Srivatsan, another important part of the committee, explains her thoughts. “Every bit I do to help the community during this pandemic makes me feel really good. It feels amazing to be able to help during these times.” “Helping in raising money for the doctors and nurses gave me satisfaction and hope that this pandemic will end soon.”, exclaimed by Kaavya Naga Sri Karnati. “During this pandemic, any small effort will go a long way. It feels amazing to help in the situation it was most needed, yet again another member.”Anagha Jammalamadaka. “I’m very grateful to the kind people who donated to our campaign and to the doctors who are fighting against COVID-19.” - Abhinav Suresh. Sohan Madishetty describes his thoughts, “I was happy to be a part of this fundraiser. It was a difficult challenge but I am happy that we succeeded.”
“It was a great opportunity and it was better knowing that I could be helpful at a time when people need it.” reflected by Nikita Talwar. Amogh Pisipati said “We were able to raise thousands of dollars for the frontliners. I would do this again if I was given the opportunity.” Last but not least, “Glad to be part of this campaign.” reflected Hrudya Kishore. This money will be used to buy more and better supplies such as no touch thermometers, which will further prevent the spread of the virus, and keep everyone safer.
These youths were also able to reach out to a local news channel —WXYZ-TV news—who later interviewed them, and talked about what they were doing for their community. Soon after the interview went live, the numbers immediately showed a difference, many new people in the area donated to the cause. This interview brought the amount one large step closer to the goal. The publicity from this interview would definitely be one of the predominant things that brought them a much closer to their goal. It also shows that so far the direction they were moving towards was affirmatively moving in the right direction.
In addition to admiring the individuals, they’ve inspired Rotary Interact Club of Livonia Churchill high school to donate a huge chunk of money. This campaign did bring the community together for a good cause.
When they had finally reached their goal they then were asked by MI India for an interview to talk about everything they had done to accomplish their goal. By giving this interview, it gave each and every one of them an opportunity to really look back how much work they put in to achieve their goal.
MI India Interview link: https://www.miindia.com/blog/details/Youth-Warriors-from-VT-Seva-fight-against-COVID-19-1025
St. Mary Mercy was so inspired about this campaign and wanted to reach out to these kids to thank them and answer any questions they had, since the high schoolers were having AP exams, to accommodate their schedule, St. Mary Mercy representatives scheduled an interview on the weekend and expressed their gratitude to these kids and answered all the healthcare related questions around COVID-19 that these kids asked. Kids got very helpful insights from the source directly through this interview.
With the money raised, it helped St. Mary Mercy to purchase
600 N-95 Masks
550 Face Shields
2 Air - Purifying Respirators
1 UV Decontomination chamber for PPEs
To think about it, 10 kids, 1 idea, 1 month, and 5,000 dollars that were raised, this small-time project definitely went farther than anything anyone could’ve imagined. It sounds almost impossible to reach at first, but together they did it. As everyone knows, the fruit of hard work, and patience, is always the sweetest. These 10 youths put together a nice thank you video to convey their appreciation to all of the donors for this campaign
GoFundMe Fundraiser link: https://gf.me/u/x3umtyhttps://gf.me/u/x3umty
Written By: Nikitha Talwar & Saisha Srivatsan
Video: Harish Jaisankar