A 17-year-old Shreya Venkat has done so much to help the people around her than many adults twice or thrice her age. The non-profit organization NEST4US that she has founded has helped thousands of people in the United States. Through NEST Nurtures, she and her people have served over 12,000 homeless people in the Washington, D.C. area by providing food and other important supplies.
NEST Tutors is a tutoring program designed to aid children in 19 local schools. School supplies are collected to make blessing bags and provide disaster relief support. NEST Buddies have a “birthday in a box” provision for low-income children and families. Shreya conducts four different volunteer programs in all her spare time as a high-school senior.
She made her Mission to help Others
Venkat’s enthusiasm for helping others started as soon as she could walk, as her parents, active volunteers themselves, brought her along on their various projects, like these creative ways to volunteer. By fifth grade, Shreya had developed a unique enthusiasm for the charity, and she started organizing her social service projects. She explains that she likes doing good things, but she would rather do them with her friends. It brings her so much happiness and joy to help. Soon she will be recruiting families and not just friends but the community as a whole, including businesses.
She gets results that are big by starting small. NEST4US was born when she realized it is to use the former to help the latter, and just how much food waste there is, how many hungry people there are. She remembered that a homeless man was standing on a corner in D.C., and he was holding a ‘Hungry Need Food’ sign. So she gave him her lunch; it was just a banana, a granola bar, and water along with his whole face just lit up. She found out he had not eaten in a week! It was so easy, it only took her 30 seconds, and it really helped him.
But this act’s ease inspired her to find a way to get food to the people who need it the most. True, this is a question politicians, community and spiritual leaders, and many others have been wrestling with for, well, thousands of years. But she did not overthink it; she decided just to behave.
There are many people who want to help, all you need to do is “Ask them”
How would she accomplish this task? Many kids her age have a tough time talking on the phone, but speaking to outsiders is not difficult for Venkat. She says she calls, emails, and talks to business owners. From there, volunteers pick up the eatables everything from bagels to bagged salads to entrees and send it forward.
“We have 1.5 times the quantity of food we will need to feed every person on Earth, it’s only a matter of supply,” are Shreya’s words. She further believes that thankfully there are so many people who wish to help. All you’ve got to do is ask them. You can begin helping right in your kitchen to decrease food waste in your home.
She celebrates her birthday with them
Venkat decided to branch out with her volunteer efforts, beginning three branches of NEST as the success of NEST Nurtures took off, with hundreds of volunteers helping to feed thousands of starving people. Serving others had turned into such a way of life for her that she celebrated her 13th birthday bringing the party to them rather than expecting gifts for herself a heritage; she and her sister have lasted ever since.
Good deeds do not have to be in your reach. Reach out and help wherever and whoever you can. This will rest your soul, and a good deed will make you happy.