HAS Helps Kanungo ’22 Fundraise for Amphan

This past month, Ryan Kanungo ’22 launched a fundraiser for a non-profit organization in India to raise money for those affected by Cyclone Amphan, which hit the India-Bangladesh border on May 21.

This past month, Ryan Kanungo ’22 launched a fundraiser for a non-profit organization in India to raise money for those affected by Cyclone Amphan, which hit the India-Bangladesh border on May 21. When Kanungo discovered that the cyclone had affected his grandmother’s home and community, he turned to the Humanitarian Aid Society (HAS) at Lawrenceville to find a way to help families and children who were most affected by the cyclone.

The HAS directed him to Akshaya Patra, a non-profit organization that strives to provide food for students in India “who lack the means, but have the zeal to learn and achieve,” according to the organization’s website. Through his efforts, he was able to raise over $3,000 for Akshaya Patra to buy meals and supplies for disaster relief.

Co-President of the Humanitarian Aid Society Rachel Krumholtz ’21 said that the HAS directed Kanungo to fundraise for Akshaya Patra because HAS “really believed that the organization was giving almost all of [its] donations to its cause.” Generally, Krumholtz explained that “when people are passionate about a cause and they want to support an organization, it can be really hard if they are on their own to start a fundraising event,” so the goal of the HAS is to “help people get on their feet and become successful when they do start these fundraisers.”

Reflecting on why he started the fundraiser, Kanungo said, “Not only were people affected by the lockdown and financial crisis, now there was a complete shortage of food and clean drinking water along with damage to their homes in the significant portion of West Bengal.”

“Although my grandma was alive, many others [weren’t] and…with the entire city flooded...I felt that a small way I could make a difference was by doing a fundraiser,” he explained. With help from his family, Kanungo reached out to friends and family through text messages and posting on various social media platforms, asking them to donate to his fundraiser.

Kanungo also reflected on how Lawrenceville impacted his awareness of others around him, both within the school community and around the world, saying, “It’s very beneficial that you have people who care not just about themselves but people around them...[it’s made me] more open and aware.” In the future, Kanungo hopes to be able to raise more money for organizations like Akshaya Patra, adding that he wants to “play [his] part” when he is able to.

Krumholtz hopes that in the future the HAS can act as a resource to help direct more students towards their goals. “It was really great getting the chance to work with Ryan, and we just want everyone to know that the HAS is always available for anyone to reach out to us.”

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