Team name: The Patel Family
Team members: Chirag, Keena, Kalen, Karina and Trishna Patel
Honored by: Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
Cause Area: Hunger & Homelessness
The Patel Family are some of the most dedicated volunteers we have ever had the pleasure to work with. They have taken every opportunity to volunteer and run with it. We love their enthusiasm, commitment and energy.
Chirag and his wife Keena started volunteering with us in 2014. Initially, they came to sort food for us, but they quickly explored other ways to help. They heard about our Adopt a Pantry program that brings 5,000 pounds of fresh produce and some staple items to the hungry in underserved neighborhoods. They decided to get a group of friends together to sponsor and staff one. At that first pantry they noticed children eagerly taking food and it made them think that the children were worried about having enough to eat so they were stocking up. That insight inspired them to commit to sponsoring an Adopt a Family with their group of friends a few times each year.
Chirag and Keena are very committed to giving back to their community and wanted to involve their children in philanthropy, so they brought their son Kalen and their daughter Karina to volunteer at Second Harvest. From sorting food in our distribution center, they expanded their service to working with their children in our kid’s volunteer area Izzy’s Corner, and then to planting and harvesting at our Incredible Edible Farm. When one of our employees was out sick, they even jumped at the chance to fill in and help us.
This past summer, Kalen and his cousin Trishna, who were entering 9th grade at Aliso Viejo High School, came to us with a proposal to start a Second Harvest club at their school. Their plan was detailed and very impressive. They recruited members and have been holding food and fund drives almost every month. The club has collected more than 3,000 pounds of food and by summer will have enough money to sponsor their own Adopt a Pantry.
The Patels are exemplary volunteers. Chirag, Keena, Kalen, Karina and Trishna are always looking for opportunities to make life better for everyone in our community through their service at Second Harvest Food Bank and with their positive, can-do attitude and their hard work they inspire not only others to help, but they inspire our employees as well.
We are very grateful for their many contributions to our organization and for their commitment to help end hunger in Orange County.