The best part about being in Georgia State University's UNICEF Club is finding a community of people who share immense love and care for all children. That is why this Christmas, we knew we had to make it extra special for those children who needed it the most. It had been a rough year for everyone. The pandemic was even more damaging for the underprivileged. That is when the UNICEF club at GSU decided to end the year on a happy note.
The founders of the club, Sushree and Sanjivika, came up with the idea to give out gifts, supplies, and essentials to children in need for Christmas. They got the inspiration from a tradition they used to follow while living in the Netherlands. Children used to get gifts in shoe boxes or stockings,. They wanted to do something similar.
We contacted our community engagement associate, Tasnim Mosabber, who helped us get in touch with Sharan Krishnappan, an Atlanta Youth Representative for UNICEF. Sharan had organized a similar donation drive in his school and helped us navigate through the logistics of the event.
The board members started contacting different YMCA communities and enquired if they were still taking donations for Christmas. Our marketing and social media officers, Sristi and Yashshri, began posting informative flyers about the holiday donation drive on our Instagram page, GroupMe, and other social media platforms. We informed the donors to keep the items they wished to donate in a box. Soon, our other board members, Khushi, Sanjivika, Sushree, Tejas, Tulsi, and Shruti, began collecting these donation boxes filled with books, clothes, toys, candy, and other small items. We, also, reached out to friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues.
With the economy down and COVID rates high, we all had to work extra hard to find donors. Fortunately, our team was able to collect fifty gift boxes in just two to three days!
Finally, we dropped off all the gift boxes at the Buckhead YMCA who willingly accepted our donations and distributed the gifts to the underprivileged children in the area. To all of the board members, this was such a fulfilling and satisfying experience. We were so happy to see the spirit everyone had in wanting to help. This is what UNICEF is about. This is what our club is about. As the saying goes, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” We are committed to help UNICEF impact others in the smallest and the biggest way possible.