Chase thanksgiving project helps families in need this holiday


courtesy Andrea Fein

Aruna Dontabhaktuni, Tejas Patel, Miraj Vakil, Eileen Candelaria, Dean Milano, Robert Milano, and Devon Milano stand behind the food collected to be donated to families in need.

Lexi Nielsen, Staff writer

Around the time of Thanksgiving, there are a lot of organizations and fundraisers whose volunteers help families in need. One of these fundraisers is the Hillsborough Chase Thanksgiving Project. This project sponsors four families through the Somerset County Food Bank to provide everything they need for a Thanksgiving dinner.

A lot of students and adults volunteer for the Chase Thanksgiving project each year. One volunteer in particular who stood out for his hard work and dedication is freshman Miraj Vakil, who was a team leader for the project.

“Miraj has been an enthusiastic participant and an integral part to the success of feeding these families in need,” project founder Andrea Fein said.

Vakil was the only student to volunteer to be a team leader this year, doing his best among three other adult team leaders. He conducted a group of people to donate food to a designated family that was assigned to him as a team captain. Vakil managed who would donate, pick up the food, label all of it, schedule times for drop off, and how much food one needs to donate.

“I was the first and only team captain to have all the food on the provided list donated,” Vakil said. “I was also a person who picked up food from neighbors and helped store food.”

Vakil played a big role in his group by donating three boxes of Thanksgiving necessities to fill all the donations that were required of him and his team. Overall, his dedication to the Hillsborough Chase Thanksgiving Project was outstanding, and his hard work helped a family in need which, according to Vakil, is a very rewarding feeling.

“This project was truly a success because it gives families in need another day to think to themselves that there are always people in this world who care about their well being and strive to make a change in the society by ending world hunger, one meal at a time,” Vakil said.