IAGB Covid Cares Relief Fund donates over $15,000 to local food pantries and shelters

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From left to right: IAGB Vice President Vaishali Gade and President Sanjay Gowda (Photo: Facebook)

BOSTON–IAGB Covid Cares Relief Fund has donated over $15,000 to local food pantries and shelters, India Association of Greater Boston, known as IAGB, said in a statement.

“Very grateful to everyone who donated generously and supported our effort and stepped up as a community to help those in need in our own backyard,” said IAGB President Sanjay Gowda. “It was an eye-opening experience visiting some local pantries and shelters. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time – heartbreaking to see the people of all ages waiting in line and the heartwarming part was that many volunteers across all the communities coming forward to help. I am very glad that our effort and initiatives brought smiles for some families. Also, very thankful to SETU team for their partnership to raise funds.”

Sanjay Gowda

From the time the pandemic began, IAGB has been in the forefront of the South Asian community in New England. IAGB partnered with many local community and social service organizations and community members while working very closely with Indian Consulate in New York, providing emergency and crisis assistance, and supporting the community needs.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the local neighborhoods, especially from the lower-income bracket were disproportionately affected by the pandemic and depended on the local pantries, IAGB statement said. The pandemic severally impacted the local pantries and shelters as they faced critical shortage of food and essential supplies and were in dire need.

IAGB stepped up its effort and launched its IAGB Cares Relief fund program with several initiatives to support the local pantries and shelters.

“The creative fundraising initiatives and with its own matching, helped IAGB raise $15,000 for the needy. IAGB donated these funds to 7 pantries, shelters and emergency help centers in the New England area,” the statement said.

These were the pantries and help centers that benefited: Lazarus House, Lawrence, MA; Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter; MA Coalition for Homelessness; Acton Food Pantry; Somerville Homeless Coalition; House of Hope, Lowell; Indian Circle for Caring; Groceries and 52 Thanksgiving; and Meals Merrimac Valley Food Bank.

Vaishali Gade

“Truly touched by the generosity of our New England area Indian Americans and the larger community. Every donation small or large has been allocated to many shelters and pantries and has been put to use for those who really need it,” said IAGB Vice President Vaishali Gade. “No matter which pantry or shelter we visited, each faced the same dire demand and was very appreciative of the help. Thanks to all those who contributed and helped make this campaign a Success.”

The fundraising effort began with a 5k Run IAGB “Bhaag IAGB Bhaag” that was immensely successful, even though it comprised real runs for individual families, and virtually organized as a community, for the New England Indian diaspora. An innovative video campaign was used to spark interest amongst members and friends, that made the effort even more successful. IAGB also matched the donations received from this effort.

During October 2020, IAGB, in partnership with SETU (Stage Ensemble Theater Unit), presented a thrilling murder mystery play in an innovative virtual format – “Seven Steps around The Fire”. This play is written by the famous playwright Mahesh Dattani and is directed by Subrata Das. This play was a ticketed event for the purpose of fund raising and was watched by the Boston and global audience with great interest.

Continuing the yearly tradition, IAGB is celebrating India’s 72nd Republic Day with a month-long activities and events – competitions, learning series, talk shows, etc, – and a grand finale on January 30, 2021 with a music concert, and cultural performances from local talents and professional artists from India, showcasing the cultural diversity of India. We invite all to this virtual extravaganza and celebrate India’s pride. This event will be virtual and programmed and presented professionally over YouTube and Facebook

Details for competitions, sponsorship, advertising and exhibition are available on www.iagb.org and via email at iagb@iagb.org.

IAGB is the oldest and one of the leading Indian-American organizations in New England. It serves the Indian-American communities and strives to foster a strong Indian-American social, civic, cultural and community presence in New England.

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