Kids from Santa Monica High School, Granada High School, and Nobel Middle School celebrated 4th of July by helping other students in need

While neighborhoods scaled back on the 4th of July celebration due to the rising number of Coronavirus cases, Nirvan Rayamajhi was busy preparing for a food drive. Things were different this time around and the event had to be planned out with extra precautions and safety.

He had served free meals for health workers in May with the money he had raised from his facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/nirvangiveback) and Instagram (@nirvangiveback) but this time he wanted to do something different. As a high school sophomore at Granada Hills High School, he wanted to help his school district. After a few emails and phone calls, he was able to get connected with San Fernando Rescue Mission. He learned that San Fernando Rescue Mission also had programs with LAUSD and he thought it was a perfect opportunity.

“I am very encouraged by the overwhelming support when I did my first fundraiser and I want to do more, but it’s not going to be easy due to the pandemic. I am beginning to realize that this COVID-19 situation is not going to end any time soon. I am missing out on a lot of things. Hanging out with my friends, track and field practice and meets and I feel like now my choices are very limited”, Nirvan said, “ I think we need to find a way to keep going by finding new ways to continue doing good; we cannot stop”.

He printed fliers and went around his neighborhood the day before food drive. Pastor Roger from the Northridge Congregation Church offered the parking lot for the event. He got help from his own bother, Neil, who also attends Nobel Middle School. (LAUSD).

His partnered with Sahara Karki, a Junior from Santa Monica High School who is also very passionate about the helping the community and protecting the environment. She is an active volunteer for “Heal the Bay” that mobilizes LA’s diverse communities to protect the coastline, restore our waterways, and speak out for smart water policy. “Teamwork is a key to getting things done.” Sahara said, “it’s so much easier when everyone does their part”.

At around 10 a.m., the donations started pouring in. The parking lot served as a perfect venue for both organizers and contributors to keep a safe distance during the drive thru event. Within two hours, more than 100 contributors donate about 150 grocery bags of food including both fresh and nonperishable food, cereal, canned vegetables, pasta, juice etc. There was an overwhelming support from the local neighbor and people drove as far as Porter Ranch to support the cause the event was a huge success. The food supplies were enough to be distributed to multiple organizations.

The food is distributed to San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, Valley Food Bank and LAPD PALS (Police Activities League), a community-based crime prevention program, to provide young people ages 6-17 with positive alternatives to gangs and drugs.

Just last week, team donated drink and snack to UCLA medical group at Santa Monica.

The team is busy preparing for their next event which will focus on distributing hygienic products.

Submitted by Dikshya Lakhey