The youth population in the United States possesses immense potential to help solve some of the social issues our nation faces. When a group of young adults band together, the possibilities are endless. At a young age, Arjun Fischer, of Oakton Virginia, recognized this potential and has since worked to encourage his peers to get involved in the community and help make a difference.
“I saw all my friends doing community service with their churches, and some of my friends and I didn’t really have this same opportunity. So I was trying to get opportunities for kids like myself to do community service,” Fischer explains.
And with that small idea, Sayva was created by Fischer and his peer Rhea Sofat. Sanskrit for “to serve selflessly and with dedication,” Sayva was created by teens that wanted to help make a difference in their community. Now, kids from all over Northern Virginia and Maryland have joined Sayva for an opportunity to help serve others. For the past three years they have packed meals every May for Stop Hunger Now, which sends food all over the world to help alleviate world hunger. They spend the whole year working on fundraising events to finance the meals they make. By doing simple things like having a change drive or encouraging local business to donate money, Sayva has been helping the world’s hungry. Every year they work to get more kids involved so they can continue to provide thousands of meals for families all over the world.
Says Fischer, “Last year we were able to send 20,000 meals to Zambia. And this year were going to try and do that again!”
They also work with Connerstone’s Toys for Tots in the winter to package and deliver gifts for underprivileged families. The group volunteers at the D.C. Central Kitchen, which prepares and serves meals daily to the people of the D.C. area. And multiple members have volunteered at City Year’s MLK JR National Day of Service in DC the last three years.
Because Sayva is made up primarily of young adults, they are keenly aware to the reasons kids have for not being involved in their communities. Fischer reflects, “Many of the people my age don’t realize even a small impact matters. An hour or two here and there can really help someone. And this can be a tough message to get across to people my age.” In this day and age, instant gratification is the norm. But Fischer and the team and Sayva are working to show young adults that lasting and impactful change doesn’t always come instantly.
Sayva is inspiring a generation. They are showing young people how to get involved and the importance of serving others. Because of Sayva, the youth community in Oakton is actively seeking opportunities to get involved and make their mark. They are generating ideas for more Sayva events and involvement in the community.
Fischer and Sofat know it can be hard to get started, but they urge everyone to get out in his or her communities and find a way to help. “Start small, and look for anything you can do. And from there just build upon it. We are so privileged and it can be hard to see what others don’t have. Just try and dedicate small amounts of time and really make a difference any way you can.”
If you know and organization like Sayva helping others get involved in their community, nominate them today for the Daily Point of Light Award at http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/recognition/dpol/nomination