Vanesha Hari, 14, and sister Varshini Hari, 12, are an inspiration for anyone who has ever seen or experienced something they thought was unfair and took action to change it.
As young children, they would often visit family in India. While there, they observed young girls working to help their families with basic needs but not attending school. They noticed this was a pattern in many households.
“We started asking our parents and grandparents how this could be fair,” Vanesha said. “Back in Seattle, while helping our mother with a local fundraiser to assist the women’s homeless shelter and children in foster homes, it really hit us that suffering and unfortunate situations existed in several avenues and many needed help.”
The girls wanted to do something to make a difference. And in 2016, Joys of Giving was born. The organization focuses on bringing global educational equity to everyone, especially to the underserved.
Vanesha and Varshini are passionate about the work they do in their community and encourage other youth to think about how they want to make an impact.
“We believe everything starts with passion, Varshini said. “So, before you start a nonprofit, connect and identify with a cause that you really want to support and figure out how you want to bring about a change. Every effort starts out small, but it’s the persistence, passion and hard work that will always bring any initiative to life!”
The Joys of Giving offers free workshops to youth across the country and around the world. The organization started offering virtual workshops over the summer in response to COVID-19. Joys of Giving has facilitated approximately eight workshops teaching the basics of computer science, coding, baking and other STEM topics reaching more than 150 youth.
According to their mother Shalini, the girls have raised over $15,000 to support partner organizations working towards a great cause. “They have inspired many young kids to give back and find a greater purpose in their lives,” Shalini said.
Learn more about Joys of Giving and their upcoming workshops like “Intro to Python and Graphic Design Art” on Oct. 17 and “Fall Baking: Apple Pie Thumbprint Cookies” on Oct. 24 by visiting www.joysofgiving.org. You can also find them on social media: Instagram @joysofgivingpnw, Facebook @joysofgivingseattle.