“In 10th grade, my perspective on things around the world changed after joining Akshaya Patra. I came to learn of this organization through multiple friends who were in it, and I was amazed by its mission, Unlimited food for education. For me, I had always taken the food that was served to me for granted; however, my outlook changed when I heard about many children in India who couldn’t go to school due to a lack of food.”
“This chance to give back has given me amazing insight, and given me so much appreciation for all of the things in my life that I take for granted. It is incredibly empowering to be able to see how quickly people can come together, and what a huge difference we can make in the lives of others.”
“Ever since I was young, bringing a smile to someone’s face and just somehow helping those in need has always been so important to me. I volunteer regularly at local soup kitchens and homeless shelters, but even then I felt that I as if I wasn’t doing enough. I knew I had the potential to make a bigger difference, and I am so fortunate that Akshaya Patra provided me with that oppurtunity I want to thank everyone who helped me reach my goal and donated to this noble cause that will help change the lives of millions of hungry children in India. Without the help of my donors, I wouldn’t have been able to reach this milestone and am very fortunate for the continued support, guidance, and blessings I have received from them throughout this journey. I have learned a lot in this process, and want to continue helping those less fortunate than I am around the globe. “One thing she wants everyone to know is “Often people think, I’m just one person, what difference can one person make? But one person can make every difference necessary! You DO have the power. You CAN change a life. Don’t ever underestimate yourself.”
“Joining the Akshaya Patra youth program, I had my reservations. Most of them were irrational or simply absurd, like the fear of being ridiculed by friends. However, I also feared failing to meet my goal. Speaking to strangers to ask for money always seemed like an awkward thing to do for me, even when it’s for a good cause. Eventually, I accepted all of these things, and decided to focus on the positive things about the program. Working as a youth ambassador has helped me build important life skills, like fundraising and breaking out of my comfort zone. These skills would assist me not only in working for Akshaya Patra, but also in any endeavor I might take up later in life. In addition to fundraising, I’m looking forward to going to India and serving in the kitchen. This will be a hands on experience to see how the organization operates. And of course, I’ll be learning all of this while contributing towards a great cause”.
I became an Akshaya Patra Youth Ambassador in 2016 and I was given the challenge of raising $1800. I didn’t want to fundraise by hosting events or going door to door, those ways didn’t excite me. I wanted to do something different. One day, I realized I should start utilizing my talent and passion for making earrings and that was the day my fundraiser, Earrings For Philanthropy was created. It became a statement in my community that everywhere I went, I would see people from the Indian and non-Indian community would be wearing my earrings. It always brought me such joy to see how a pair of earrings could bring so much impact.
I hope to spread the mission of Akshaya Patra to as many people as possible and make sure every child in India has a nutritious meal and the equal opportunity for everyone to achieve their dreams. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey and Akshaya Patra for allowing me to be part of a such an amazing campaign!
“After attending the Dallas Forum, I was able to experience the true impact of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, and the vast influence the organization has all over India. Just the thought of being able to make a difference in a society that is more than 8,000 miles from your own, is a rewarding experience. Knowing that you are helping children, that could very well be your own age, and giving them a chance at obtaining even a fraction of the privileges we are given on a daily basis, is a great motivator. It gives us a reason to keep moving forward, to continue with the work and service we have been providing, to make an impact, and helps us understand the value of changing a person’s life for the better. As a youth member of my community, I wanted to try my best to make a change in this world, and I was willing to put forth my efforts to make it a success. As a member of Akshaya Patra’s Youth Ambassadors this last year, I was able to do just that. The difference I was able to make, alongside the other youth members, in our community and the inspiration we provided to others to join our efforts was an experience I will take with me throughout my life”.
“When senior Surabi Rao heard she would be visiting India over the summer, she decided to seize the opportunity to give back…“The most rewarding part of my trip was actually seeing the faces of kids that I am helping through my nonprofit work,” Rao said. “When you live in Texas and you’re volunteering to help children in India, it’s really hard to lose sight of what you’re working towards. Meeting the children certainly helped me strengthen my purpose.” Rao’s trip to India is truly what the foundation is all about…This gesture of kindness shows how easy it is to have a deeper connection with cultures that are different than our own and how similar we really are.“I remember when I was leaving the school, one of the girls grabbed my hand and said, ‘Please promise me that you’ll never forget us,’” Rao said.”
“Education is a dream for me, but there is no time for me to go to school. I have to spend the entire day earning money so that I can afford at least one meal. But, if I did go to school, I would definitely become a doctor!” These were the words of Megha, a 13-year old girl from a village in the outskirts of Bangalore, India.
Coming from a First World country, I was in dismay after hearing about Megha’s plight, which resembled more than 61 million kids in India. After hearing about children like Megha, I knew that it was time for me to make a difference in the world and Akshaya Patra was the perfect means for me to achieve my goal!
“Being an Akshaya Patra Youth Ambassador allows me to play a role in an outstanding and prominent cause. It brings me surplus joy to know that I am helping out with such a noble cause. I wrote handwritten letters, organized booths at picnics and festivals such as the Federation of India festival, and much more to raise my funds, allowing me to explore the diverse methods of fundraising. I love being a Youth Ambassador, as it enabled me to help children in India who may not be as fortunate as I am. I intend to contribute my effort to Akshaya Patra in the future by raising awareness and donations of the acclaimed foundation and help reach the goal of feeding 5 million mouths by 2020.”
“In October of 2015, I launched my first solo fundraiser at the Gayatri Chetna Center in Anaheim, CA. The fundraiser was a devotional Carnatic bhajan performance by children ages 6 to 17, disciples of Smt. Padma Kutty. After the performances, I was able to speak about the pressing issues regarding poverty and illiteracy in India, as well as throughout most of the third world. At the fundraiser alone, I was able to raise about $3,000, along with the $1800+ donations I had collected that year. I truly believe Akshaya Patra is a fundamental part of the solution to improving illiteracy and nutrition for rural and urban children in India. My journey with Akshaya Patra has been nothing short of life-changing, and I am truly glad to have been a part of it for the past two years.”