Indian-American non-profit, Indiaspora has raised $1 million to fight hunger among vulnerable populations affected by the coronavirus pandemic in in the US and India.
Its ‘ChaloGive for COVID-19’ initiative met its initial goal of $1 million, just 10 days after its launch after an outpour of support from the Indian diaspora.
The contributions were sent to two beneficiary organizations: Feeding America in the US and Goonj in India.
Feeding America has secured 4.7 million meals in the US through Indiaspora’s initiative, as every $1 contributed secures 10 meals via the organisation’s network of 200 food banks, according to an official statement. Goonj, which is using the funds to provide food, dry ration and hygiene kits to displaced migrant labourers in parts of eighteen states in India, has been able to provide sustenance for 106,000 migrants and their families through this initiative so far, the Indiaspora statement said. Each $20 contributed to Goonj feeds a family of four for seven to 10 days. “There was a huge desire in our community to help during this crisis, and we provided an easy way to give. The Indian diaspora stood up and rose to the occasion when the ultimate time of reckoning arrived,” Sanjeev Joshipura, the Executive director of Indiaspora, was quoted as saying.
One of the largest contributions to the initiative came from Bay-area based volunteer group Aram Sei, whose vision is to support grassroots charities worldwide with specific focus on education and healthcare.
“Our team of twelve members is proud to support the ChaloGive fundraiser initiative that helps us make a direct impact to those in need,” said Sangeetha Lakshminarayanan, President and Founder of Aram Sei.
“We feel fortunate to be able to make a difference in our country of origin and the country we have embraced and made our home.”
Meanwhile, twelve Indian-American hoteliers have collaborated to purchase and donate 25,000 protective face masks to 11 hospitals in the four states – California, Texas, Oregon, Washington – where their respective companies operate.
The masks donation represents a joint effort by Neal Patel, founder and managing partner of Blue Chip Hotels which operates in Texas, and Bijal Patel, CEO and principal of Coast Redwood Hospitality in Northern California.
“Hospitality is not just our job – it’s a calling, and a lifelong bond to serving people,” said Bijal Patel. Neal Patel said, “During this crisis environment, we want to make work a little safer and easier for the health care first-responders who are working so very hard on behalf of the communities where we do business.”
Taran Patel, managing principal of A1 Hospitality Group based in Kennewick, Washington, explained his reason for joining the contribution group: “As our company thought about what our local communities needed, we quickly realised there was a dire need for protective medical equipment, masks in particular.
“We immediately put together an energized group of young hoteliers who could act fast to leverage our collective resources and to make an immediate, meaningful impact Taran Patel said.
Mitesh Jivan of TenSeventy Hospitality in California, said “it’s been great to mobilize our resources in support of the health care workers who are supporting us every day”.
Sawan Patel of Unity Hotels Group in Texas added, “Hoteliers understand the importance of doing little things behind-the-scenes for our guests, so providing these masks is a small way we can give medical workers a valuable tool as they fight for us on the front line.”
Meanwhile in Washington, Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna has been appointed to President Donald Trump’s Opening Up America Again Congressional Group . He is one of 10 Democrats in the 32-member group.