Backpacks – A Local Community Service Project
Friends Foundation has been partnering with Telugu Association of North America (www.TANA.org) since 2006 to serve the local communities and under privileged children. We have donated about 2000 backpacks filled with school supplies to various elementary and secondary schools in Massachusetts.
TANA and Friends Foundation have been exemplary leaders in helping needy students both in India as well as in the USA for a long time. TANA, founded in 1977, is an organization that perpetuates, integrates and assimilates the cultural heritage of Telugu-speaking people into the main stream cultural heritage of North America.
In 2007 academic year Friends Foundation joined TANA to donate over 200 backpacks to Chandler Elementary School in Worcester, where more than 90% of the students qualify for reduced price or free meals. At a ceremony held in Worcester City Hall, Mayor Mrs. Constantina B. Lukes and the entire Worcester School Committee, honored Mr. Mohan Nannapaneni and Mr. Purna Rao Bolneni for their generosity and the work they have done to improve the education both in India and America. It was at that honoring ceremony that Mayor Lukes and the School Committee asked Mohan if he and the organizations could adopt more schools and help more needy children next year. Little did they know at that time that Mohan, TANA and Friends Foundation would quadruple their generosity the following academic year (2008), donating and distributing 800 school backpacks and school supplies to the children of three different schools in Massachusetts. 800 backpacks were distributed to Nativity School and Woodland Academy in Worcester, and P. A. Shaw School in Boston area in early September 2008.
Hima, Suren, Swathi, Pranay, Deepthi, Divya and Pooja are the children helped in packing the bags with notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, rulers, glues and erasers. Mohan Nannapaneni & Shama Nannapaneni of Friends Foundation donated all of 800 backpacks. TANA, Dr. Muddana Haribabu, Dr. Paparao Gundavaram, Mr. Purnachander Bolneni, Dr. Ekambar Kandimalla, Dr. Murthy Kanneganti, Dr. Mohan Das Divi, Dr. Seshagiri Rao Meka, Mr. Tharanath Yarrabothu, Mr. Babu Thammisetty, Mr. Govinda Rao Bhisetti, Mr. Srinivas Kollipara, Mr. Manohar Sriramaneni, Mr. Karthik and Mrs.Nimisha Shaw contributed for supplies.
In academic year 2009, Friends Foundation again partnered with TANA and donated more than 600 backpacks filled with all necessary school supplies to Union Hill School and Canterbury Street School in Worcester, MA. Mrs. Constantina B. Lukes, The Mayor of Worcester, attended the distribution program at Union Hill School, where TANA donated 350 backpacks. The remaining 250 back packs were donated to Canterbury Street School of Worcester. All the backpacks were filled with lots of supplies like crayons, color pencils, notebooks, rulers, folders, pens, glue sticks, and erasers.
The mayor and the staff of the school were so amazed with the happiness in the children’s faces, as they received their colorful new backpacks. More than 90% of those children belong to working-class families that qualify for the subsidized meal program.
The mayor addressed the school children and spoke about the importance of education and how it could change their lives. The mayor, principal, and the staff of both the schools thanked Friends Foundation, TANA and the local volunteers for their generosity. They were very pleased with the donation and said that it means a lot to the students, especially when most of their families are struggling to make ends meet in the current economic hardship.
Mohan & Shama Nannapaneni of Friends Foundation purchased and donated all 600 backpacks. Dr. Haribabu Muddana, Mr. Babu Thammisetti, Dr. Govinda Rao Bhisetti, Mr. Papa Rao Gundavaram, Mr. Purna Rao, Dr. Venkat Reddy, Dr. Satyam, MR. Manohar Sriramanine, Mr. Srinivas Kollipara, Mr. Kumar Potluri, Mr. Seshi Sompuram and Dr. Murthy Kanneganti contributed for the supplies and volunteered in distributing the backpacks.
For details of our service to Education, please see Schools and Scholarships sections.