“We chose to start the club at Edgewood after realizing that we had the power to do something to help alleviate hunger for young children and give older kids the opportunity to connect with something that was close to home. Our mission and tag line is Kids Helping Kids.” ~ Ria Prasad and Devan Ojha
Ria Prasad, this year’s TCHP Edgewood School Club President, helped develop the club last school year with Devan Ojha and with the help and blessing of school administrators . The foundation of the club is built on four core principles – 1) spread awareness of the local child hunger issue 2) raise funds to help feed local hungry children, 3) build the next generation of leaders and 4) bring “kids helping kids” opportunities directly to junior and senior high schools.
The response from the students at Edgewood was amazing. They had interest from over 100 students. The leaders of the Edgewood Children’s Hunger Project Club spent several months hard at work planning, meeting, setting goals and cultivating community relationships. They partnered with local business leaders to hold fundraisers with 100% of all proceeds going to The Children’s Hunger Project. Successful events included Mathnasium SAT Prep and Suntree Martial Arts Self Defense seminars. Many participated the the Health First Fight Child Hunger 5K, and held a packing event in May.
Many parents supported the efforts of the TCHP Edgewood Club, for which we are deeply appreciative.
Comments from adminstrators at Edgewood:
“I must tell you that I am so proud of our students and Ms. Spencer. They have embraced that true leadership is service, and they are making our world a better place. Their work is literally changing lives!”
~ Jacqueline Ingratta, Principal, Edgewood Junior Senior High School
“These students are exemplars in leadership. They have really shown dedication and the ability to inspire others to work together for a common goal.”
~ Julia A. Diakakis, Ed.D., Assistant Principal, Edgewood Jr/Sr High School
“It is very exciting to be starting a school based club for The Children’s Hunger Project at Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School. We have had an amazing turn out and interest from the student body. Everyday I have more and more students stopping by my classroom wanting to know how to get involved and help out with The Children Hunger Project club. At the last meeting the classroom was standing room only. It was outstanding to see so many students wanting to help less fortunate students in need in Brevard County.”
~ Meredith Spencer, Teacher, Edgewood CHP Club Sponsor
Ria: “I was first introduced to TCHP during a fifth-grade field trip for a packing event at their building. Right after walking in, we learned about why these children would need these food packages in the first place, and it was a mind-blowing experience for me. You always see photos of hungry kids in third world countries, however many of us never stop to think that there are hungry children right here in our backyard.”
Devan: “I was initially introduced to TCHP by my mom when she created a fundraising event through her work. However, I had my first-hand experience with the organization during a 2013 community packing event at EFSC Melbourne. My brother, mom, cousin and I, along with hundreds of others, packed weekend lunch packages for local children in an assembly-line format. While placing the small items of food on each tray, I recognized that there was more need locally than I could have ever possibly imagined. The fact that the food had to be child-friendly and shelf-stable, gave me a new perspective and appreciation for what I had. Learning the statistics and being involved on a personal level provided me with a more complete picture of the immense and true need.”
Devan and Ria: Just eight years ago, there were over 3,000 hungry kids in Brevard who could use the help. However, through this wonderful organization, 1900 of them have been fed. Sadly, there are still many children who go home after school lunch on Friday, knowing that they will not have a meal until free breakfast on Monday. These kids could be your classmates, your neighbors, or your friends.
In order to try and help to reduce this number together, we hope to feed more children this year. This club personifies the saying “think globally, act locally”. Our club has already provided volunteer hours and some funds towards these efforts. In 2019, we have many fundraising events in the works, including SAT prep classes, self-defense classes, and a packing event at our Jr./Sr. High School.
We would be grateful for any donations at https://thechildrenshungerproject.org/donate and would appreciate it if you could make sure to write “TCHP EDGEWOOD” in the “in honor of” section. Your contribution provides food each weekend during the school year to children that teachers know are coming to school hungry on Monday mornings.
We encourage you to stay in the loop about volunteer opportunities and upcoming meetings by following us on our Instagram: @tchpedgewood. We are extremely excited and thankful to start this club and help as many hungry children as possible, and for the overwhelming support that we have already received!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to partner with us!
Rosy: I found the photo of the EFSC packing event that sparked Devan’s interest in TCHP. He is the one on the left in the red T-shirt. All these young men are now officially in college. The seed was planted years ago . . . and that’s what I’m loving about the kids helping kids initiative – you never know where it will go in another 5-6 years!
“Edgewood’s TCHP Club is a model to take to other schools in the county to help eliminate child hunger in our communities. At present West Shore Jr/Sr High is starting a club this year, and they have a president and four officers ready to serve.” ~ Keith Gee, TCHP Executive Director
“We have nearly 100 kids signed up at both Edgewood and West Shore this school year. I’d say this is powerful proof that kids are ‘hungry’ to be part of the solution!” ~ Rosy Kamboj Ojha, Edgewood Parent Supporter and TCHP Board Volunteer