From left, Kamlesh Purohit, vice president of the Student Government Association and unofficial development office employee, is happy to be in a group photo with the rest of the department, Jessica Hales, director of development and executive director of the foundation, Heather Trader, development specialist, and Cindy Gentilcore, administrative associate.
Although most people feel uncomfortable and shy away from asking others for money — even for a worthy cause, Kamlesh Purohit, vice president of the Student Government Association, took the initiative to start soliciting and collecting donations for Wor-Wic’s on-campus food pantry, where he works as a volunteer.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Purohit noticed a dip in the number of students coming to get food. He told Camesha Handy, director of student engagement, that he was willing to take the food to the students’ homes. Then he asked her if he could reach out to the community for donations. Purohit became a sort of unofficial Wor-Wic development office staffer, soliciting gifts for the college’s food for students initiative. He makes a regular practice of asking his doctors, insurance agent, friends and others to contribute to this worthwhile cause. So far, he has raised $651 from 12 donors.
“I ask myself, how can I help other students,” Purohit said. “In which way? There are so many students who are struggling, so many single parents who need help. I just want them to know that no matter what, I’ll help them. It is time to give back.” He also plants vegetables in the community garden, which supplements the food pantry with fresh produce.
Purohit plans to graduate from Wor-Wic in 2022 with a degree in chemical dependency counseling. When asked if he has any plans to pursue a career in fundraising, he said “Yes, definitely — I would like to work here!”