Avani (9) and Arjun (‘18) Khorana fundraise for local Taste of Tribeca community fund


Arushi Talwar and Clio Rao

As the coronavirus pandemic has become an increasingly large part of people’s everyday lives, Avani (9) and Arjun Khorana (‘18) have been fundraising through social media to raise donations for the Taste of Tribeca Community Fund (TTCF).
Taste of Tribeca is an organization that raises money for two neighborhood public schools, PS 234 and PS 150, through events and donations, Avani said. The Khoranas, who have lived in Tribeca for 13 years, have previously attended the annual Taste of Tribeca event in May.
“Given the current COVID-19 situation, the event was cancelled this year, but we had heard that Taste of Tribeca had set up this initiative, and we wanted to do our part to help our neighborhood and city,” Avani said.
The TTCF is an initiative whose goal is to provide meals for medical professionals who are working amidst the current global pandemic situation. The fund collects money to buy meals from restaurants that rely solely on take-out orders, she said, simultaneously keeping the struggling establishments in business.
Taste of Tribeca’s goal is to feed 100 hospital workers for each delivery they supply to the hospitals, with a budget of $10 for each person, Avani said.
“This initiative brings together two very important aspects for our family—the desire to help the frontline healthcare workers and save our local neighborhood restaurants in these extraordinarily stressful times,” Malini Khorana, Arjun and Avani’s mother, who is also helping them with fundraising, said.
The Khoranas first became involved with the initiative when Malini, a former Taste of Tribeca treasurer, encouraged them to do some work for the community. “We got in touch with the Board Chair of Taste of Tribeca, Bettina Teodoro, who helped us set up the page as a partner with Taste of Tribeca’s existing initiative,” Avani said. For Malini, starting a campaign offshoot of the initiative seemed like a great way to get involved.
“I’m very proud of them for wanting to help out our community during these uncertain times,” Malini said. “I believe that we can make a real positive impact in the world if each of us takes responsibility to lend a helping hand in our respective communities.”
A significant portion of the Khoranas’ contribution to the initiative is spreading information about Taste of Tribeca through social media. “Our GoFundMe page is an extension of Taste of Tribeca’s existing initiative, so any money we make goes to them,” Avani said.
In less than two days, the Khoranas surpassed their original goal of $1000, which they have now changed to $2000. TTCF has already raised over $45,000 in less than a week, Avani said.
“It’s been extremely heartwarming to see the support of so many people both in and out of the community that are trying to help in every way they can during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Arjun said. “My favorite part is being able to work on this project with my sister and also help my community, especially the restaurants which have been hit hard during this time as well as helping the doctors who are on the frontlines every day to help contain the disease.”
Though Arjun and Avani have never done this kind of promotion volunteer work before, Taste of Tribeca holds a special place in their family’s lives. The money raised gives funds to their family favorite restaurants and old elementary school, Avani said.
Given the current circumstances of the world, the Khoranas are waiting to see the outcome of events before they progress in their work. Still, the main priority for the initiative, Avani said, is to increase the number of meals being served in one delivery, as well as expand the number of hospitals participating.
“In the times we are living in today, we all have to help each other,” she said. “The first responders in our city work 24/7 to keep us safe, and the least we can do is help and support them in any way we can.”