Priya Sathaye

Daily Point of Light # 3958 Apr 6, 2009

Priya Sathaye has been volunteering with the Sunday Friends Program since August of 2006. Sunday Friends is a nonprofit organization that runs programs for low-income families in San Jose, CA. She taught piano lessons to children, led art projects and played a key role in the program's "shopping" operations. Priya was quickly recognized as a star volunteer with leadership qualities and was invited to serve on the Sunday Friends Volunteer Leader Team.

As a Volunteer Leader, Priya has arrived at programs prepared to lead particular projects and to fulfill particular roles. She serves as a role model, not just for the children but also for the other volunteers.

In the spring of 2008, Priya proposed creating a fundraising club, composed of high school students, to support Sunday Friends. After some discussion with the staff, Priya structured her plans as a community service summer internship program, one that would allow its young members to learn about the art of fundraising.

Priya initiated the High School Fund Raisers (HSFR) by working with a graphic designer to design a logo and then creating a promotional flyer, application, joining agreement form and service log form. She collaborated with the Sunday Friends' webmaster to create the HSFR web page, which provided information plus all of her special forms. Priya lined up guest speakers who were fundraising experts in the community and laid out a well-defined schedule of talks and meetings.

Priya recruited members for HSFR from a variety of California Bay Area high schools. She reached out through school clubs and through Sunday Friends programs. The HSFR group began meeting as soon as school was out for the summer. They interleaved learning sessions, taught by guest speakers, with planning sessions, led by Priya. The group decided to organize and run a restaurant based fundraiser event that was a success.

Priya was motivated to create the High School Fund Raisers by her positive experience with volunteering within the Sunday Friends programs. The group provides a safe place where families come together with volunteers in a secular community setting. Children and their parents are provided with opportunities to earn the things they need to promote self-reliance and a healthy, productive lifestyle.

The groups' activities foster the growth of developmental assets in children. The parents are included so that the practice of positive life skills will continue throughout the week in their homes. These exercises can help the families break the cycle of poverty.

Priya has definitely made an impact in her community. Once she began her service, Sunday Friends began to receive more donations. Priya tracked the progress through a spreadsheet. Not only did Priya and her group raise money for her programs, but she connected Sunday Friends to new donors. As of today, Priya has contributed more than 70 volunteer hours to HSFR leadership, and HSFR has raised $8,640.