Neha Gupta, 15, of Yardley, Pa., a sophomore at Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, founded a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $375,000 to provide educational and other resources to disadvantaged children in India and the United States. While volunteering at an orphanage in India, Neha realized that without an education, the children there faced bleak futures. The children would tell me how they longed to make something of their lives but were unable to do so, as they did not have the opportunity to gain a sound education, she said. In my opinion, every child deserves an education, healthcare, and most importantly, hope.
Initially, Neha responded by selling her toys at a garage sale to raise money. Then she started making and selling wine charms and greeting cards, and eventually created a nonprofit called Empower Orphans. Now, in addition to her charm and card sales, she delivers presentations at schools, colleges and public events, describing the plight of Indian orphans and appealing for donations. With the money she has collected so far, Neha has established five libraries in India (15,500 books), three computer centers, a science lab, and a sewing institution. She also sponsored an eye and dental clinic and provided food, footwear, clothing and blankets to thousands of children. Recently, she expanded her philanthropic activities to the greater Philadelphia area where she donated 25 van loads of products to furnish the apartments of needy families and provided toys, bicycles, food and clothing to orphaned and abused children.