NRI Pulse Staff Report
Atlanta, GA, April 16: During the summer of 2014, Jaya Gupta, a Milton High school student, with the help of her friends Lauren Blade, Emma Vincola and Sinjen Patel, set out on a mission to raise awareness about poverty in the North Fulton Community by connecting students to the less-fortunate kids at shelters in a creative manner.
After volunteering and spending time at various shelters over the summer, Gupta realized that the kids missed out on special life events, like birthdays. She realized she could throw birthday parties for the kids by gathering volunteers from Milton clubs and other organizations that she takes a part in such as the Alpharetta YMCA’s Teen Leader Program and Milton’s National Honor Society, bringing the community together and thus creating her nonprofit, Give A Birthday. In addition to the non-profit, Gupta, Blade, and Vincola started a chapter of the non-profit at their high school, Milton, and recruited over 100 volunteers at the school’s Club Fair.
By teaming up with organizations, such as the Drake House and the Garden and various locally owned businesses, Give A Birthday! joins the local communities together by creating opportunities so the fortunate community can have the special opportunity to change a child’s life by celebrating his or her birthday in a exciting, memorable manner.
This last month, Give A Birthday volunteers threw a party for the kids at the Garden, a shelter in Smyrna,Georgia. Give a Birthday joined forces with YMCA Teen Leaders from the Alpharetta YMCA branch, bringing in numerous volunteers from over 8 high schools in the North Fulton and Forsyth districts. Volunteers came early and hung up streamers and balloons to surprise the kids. Volunteers also set up the tables with various deserts and candy, surprising the kids who had birthdays in the month of February and March. In addition, the Give A Birthday team donated 75 dollars’ worth of school supplies at the party; As Give A Birthday also focuses on the needs of the less fortunate kids, prior to each party, Gupta contacts the shelters and asks if there is a lack of any item.
Give A Birthday also has taken on many other initiatives this month; In efforts to help other kids in surrounding communities and participate in Global Youth Service Day, Gupta, as treasurer of NHS at her school, initiated a fundraiser to help collect presents, which Simple Needs Georgia packs and delivers to homeless students in the Marietta K-12 system and Cobb County schools in Powder Springs, as well as kids living in local homeless shelters.
Gupta has many future plans for her nonprofit. This summer, her team plans to hold a tie-dye run and raise thousands of dollars to give scholarship money out in the form of presents to kids at the shelters. She plans to raise over $20,000 and award twenty kids scholarships of $1,000 each for books and other costs. Next year, she also plans to have her friends at neighboring high schools, Northview and Alpharetta, open chapters to help her mission.