Vanesha Hari and Varshini Hari are making a difference in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They co-founded a nonprofit initiative called Joys of Giving (www.joysofgiving.org) to bring hope, opportunity, and resources to anyone in need focusing specifically on educational equity. They strongly believe Education is the only powerful tool to bring about any change in this world.

Starting in 2016, they have raised $12,800 for various nonprofits, volunteered 100+ hours and collaborated with 5+ nonprofit organizations in the local community. If only these numbers could talk, there will be numerous acts of kindness and stories of joy and inspiration to share with the world! Their most recent community service initiative was fueled by what they noticed around them during the pandemic of Covid-19. They saw the need to raise funds to provide free meals for the underserved children in their school district and to support mental health programs. When kids don’t know whether they will get their next meal, how can they possibly focus on math or science? Hence, they connected with Lake Washington Schools Foundation (LWSF) to start a fundraiser and have donated $2000 towards this cause. They strongly believe that in each one of us there is unlimited potential, unique talent and together we have a civic responsibility to lift others as we climb.

The young founders are now expanding their community service work globally by raising funds for a children’s home in India where several unclaimed children especially girls need education, meals, and necessities. After a few visits to India, they were inspired to make a difference and help the underprivileged communities. They are bringing their joy and passion for culinary arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to host workshops, outreach and help fundraise for these local and international nonprofits. Vanesha Hari was 1 out of 1200+ students in her middle school to be awarded the Community Service Award for exemplary service, empathy, founding a nonprofit initiative for the betterment of our community!

Vanesha and Varshini also have a passion to fade the gender boundaries in STEM and have mentored and taught young girls more than 300+ hours in various topics of math and technology especially the underserved. Vanesha was recently selected as the youngest to receive the ‘STEM in Action’ community award by the world’s largest advocate of women technologists (Society of Women Engineers). In the end, they imagine a world in which every individual from all walks of life has equal opportunity and can access the profound power of education and technology. They strive to focus on what they can do each day to make a small difference. Each of us, wherever we are, do have the opportunity to do the same. If everyone does something to better the world, our collective work will in fact make the world a lot better, for the people we love, and for our society. There is a long road ahead and they are just getting started on this journey.

To learn more, visit www.joysofgiving.org and if you wish to donate and contribute please visit https://www.joysofgiving.org/events.html “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.