While rest of the world was thinking about the gifts they would get from Santa, a 15 year-old boy in San Jose was dreaming of giving his time to suffering and hungry families. While all his friends were busy preparing for finals, Raghav Sehtia was busy baking cookies and pastries to sell in his fundraising effort for Second Harvest Food Bank.
does this fundraising all throughout the year – whenever he can squeeze in time from his hectic academic schedule and after-school activities. He makes fliers by hand, then distributes them in the neighborhood: His guarantee of delivering hot fresh bakery earns him quite a few orders and all proceeds go to the Second Harvest.
This Christmas was no different for him. As soon as he read about the locally famous holiday light display in Sunnyvale pulling in crowds, he immediately contacted the homeowner to ask if he could put up his bake sale table in the front yard. Dave Severns not only happily agreed, but also offered to match the donation amount. And come rain, shine or chill, Raghav has on site every weekend.
This year he has raised $1,500, $530.00 at the Christmas light display and the rest from neighborhood sales, family and friends. He’s baked 400 cookies, 10 marble cakes, 100 pastries, 15 berry cobblers and 50 chocolate muffins to date.
Raghav’s Mom once advised him to raise money for college, to help fulfill his dream of attending Harvard classes or going to Spain to learn Spanish in the summer. Raghav curtly said,”If I raise money for myself, I help only one person. If I raise money for others, many can benefit.”
In Middle School, the earnest boy of 12 years wanted to save the environment; he took a pledge of biking to school every day and kept his word. Rain or shine, chill or scorching heat, Raghav biked to school every single day of the school year.
His other commitments include Vice President of his sophomore class, the San Jose Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (as the youngest member ever), an internship with his Assembly Member Jim Beal, volunteering at local Temple on Sundays, and YMCA.
Whenever we hear a story about wayward youth and crime, we can remember to be proud that we have such youths as Raghav Sehtia.
image by Alex Cube