FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A group of young Fairfield kids made sure that 50 local families will have a Thanksgiving dinner that they otherwise might not have been able to afford this year.
Fairfield resident Shilpa Boraki Ahuja holds a weekly Gurukul class, which teaches Hindu children about their culture and values. A few weeks ago, her lesson focused on the kids’ luck in growing up in the Fairfield area, with families who can afford food, shelter and luxuries. She also reminded them how there are families without those things, even here in Connecticut.
“This made all the kids reflect back at their wonderful lives, but also made them feel that they should do a little something to help,” Ahuja wrote in an email. “So with their encouragement, we went out to seek a charity we could collaborate with who would let the kids lend some support.”
So the class headed to the store and picked out canned and packaged foods for Thanksgiving dinners, which the kids packed into shopping bags. The kids gathered enough food to fill 50 bags, each of which will go to a needy family.
Last Sunday, the kids took what they had collected to Fairfield’s Operation Hope, which runs a year-round food pantry, homeless shelter and kitchen. The pantry portion offers free food to families in need. Each year, Operation Hope’s pantry provides enough food to make more than 100,000 meals to hundreds of local families.
Even after the drive was done, Ahuja says the kids were still eager to help. Some were looking forward to Christmas and potentially starting a toy drive for needy families. Others thought about raking leaves for the elderly or visiting seniors at a local nursing home.
“The kids enjoyed this project so much that they are already thinking of what other community service they want to do,” Ahuja wrote.
Photo: Shilpa Boraki Ahuja’s students and young volunteers pose with the results of their collection drive. From left, back row: Armaan Ajoomal, Vidhi Murjani, Ashvita Dhar, Sushmita Narayan, Yukta Murjani and Simran Murjani; Front row: Arnav Jhangiani, Anoushka Ahuja and Himani Narayan