BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: “Kids Help Kids”, an organization initiated by Veda Balaji in 2013 continued its efforts to raise funds for a cause. A 3K Race held at East Cobb Park on January 2, 2016, hosted by a group of 20 kids, garnered well over $2500. The proceeds of the event were donated to SEWA International,USA working to help those affected by floods in Chennai, India.
January cold did not keep away 128 participants who ran for the cause. Harsh Merchant was winner in the first place, and Manas Sudhir came in second in the Kids Category. Anushka Madhwesh was winner in the first place and Abhijeet Singh came in second in the Adult Category.
Along with the participants, local businesses Integrate LLC, Sunray Enterprise, Kennesaw Mountain Kumon, CareFacets, and MobilEmpower LLC joined hands in support of the event.
“We worked throughout our winter break without wasting our time and now when we know it is going to help people in need it’s all well worth it,” said Veda.
Moved deeply by those affected by the Tornado in Oklahomain 2013, Veda wanted to help, and the Balaji family came up with the idea to create an event in which kids and adults could participate. Veda found help and support in various forms. Today she and a team of 20 kids ranging from ages 10 to 15 put together the event for the fundraiser. The volunteer team includes Veda Balaji, Gaurav Krishnan, Vishruth Madhusudhan, Tejas Veedhulur, Megha Dilip, Amit Balaji, Aditi Shekar, Urvi Gupta, Varsha Ramachandra, Ashwini Balanagesh, Sarayu Ramachandra, Govind Poyapakkam, Swathi Bala, Ekta Gaonkar and Anusha Moudgal.
Kids also sold hot chocolate, chai, coffee, samosas, veggie puff, cookies, brownies and potato buns at the event.
“Thank you all for coming today for our 3k race. I know with the money we raised today we are going to help lot of people in Chennai. While it was fun being in the race, we know many people in Chennai are suffering to rebuild their lives. I am sure this money will help them do just that. I could not have done this all by myself. We have group of hardworking volunteers and we did not waste a single day of our winter break” Veda said in her note of thanks.
All volunteers, parents and sponsors were recognized. “Thank you SEWA for your work in Chennai. We appreciate you working with us.” She added. The group observed a moment of silence for the flood victims.
It is always heartwarming to see the youth blossom into responsible adults who know the importance of giving back, even as they fight their own battles. Here’s wishing Veda and her team success in all their endeavors.