ROCHELLE PARK, NJ, — Share & Care, one of the oldest philanthropic organizations founded by Indian-Americans in New Jersey in 1982, held its 38th Annual Gala on Oct. 10, 2020, virtually.
Some 550 people attended the virtual gala.
Organizers said the theme of the gala, “Rising Together” recognized the changes and challenges presented by the pandemic and honored the bonds of humanity and hope that connect communities around the world.
More than half a million dollars has been raised by Share & Care, according to Manoj Desai, chair of the annual gala and Fundraising Committee and member Board of Trustees who spoke at the event about how the program was expanded. Despite it being a virtual event, for the cultural entertainment segment, renowned artists performed at an actual theater in India, so that viewers could feel the same excitement generated in past galas where the New Jersey Performing Arts Theater was used as the venue. “Because of popular demand, we are showing this program this coming Saturday Oct. 17, from 7:30 to 10:30 pm on ITV Gold,” Desai said. The organization also conducted a unique and successful Sari Drive, during which Share & Care collected saris totaling $100,000 in value, which will be loaned to those in need for special occasions, Desai noted.
Founder and President of Share & Care Sharad Shah talked about how the original goal of the organization before the pandemic hit, was to empower 20,000 women in 2020. But it was quickly switched to meet the priorities created by COVID-19. “We wanted to not only raise funds but also bring laughter and happiness for the people at large,” Sharad Shah said.
Other speakers included Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold, a life-long supporter of Share & Care, as well as Padma Shri H.R. Shah of TV Asia, Amar Shah, chair of the Disaster Relief Committee of Share & Care, who shared details of the organization’s efforts in this field, Nila Patel, and Bharati Palkhiwala, among others.
The entertainment, which included over two and a half hours of Bollywood-inspired musical performances, was curated by well-known singer and composer Parthiv Gohil and emceed by film star and singer Manasi Parekh-Gohil. It also included musical performances from Bhoomi Trivedi, Jahnvi Shrimankar, and Sudesh Bhosle who also mimicked film dialogues of superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
“This was a unique and remarkable program,” a patron who attended the virtual gala, is quoted saying in the press release. “Every artist is without a doubt exceptionally talented and their energy level is unmatched. Each of them gave more than 110% in making this event a grand success.”
Another highlight of the evening included a short film outlining Share & Care’s COVID-19 disaster relief efforts and signature programs on women’s empowerment, village upliftment, healthcare, and education for under-served people in India. Share & Care also highlighted recent strides made with the support of partner NGOs.
Jyotsna Shah gave the details of the Sari project. Some 4,000 saris in excellent condition were collected in the United States and partner NGOs in India would loan them to those in need.
Through 2020, Share & Care supported Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust, providing direct funding for 72,000 khichdi meals, out of the 1 million that RNCT has provided so far during the pandemic to children and daily wage workers.
Collaborating with Mijwan Welfare Society, Share & Care provided funds for hygiene kits distributed to more than 3,100 individuals in Uttar Pradesh.
It also helped empower the Environmental Sanitation Institute, whose volunteers/workers or “Lok Mitras” lead Share & Care’s Village Upliftment programs, to distribute masks and grocery kits for 5,000+ families affected by COVID-19. And it is partnering with PRADAN to provide grocery kits and meal kitchens for hundreds of families in Jharkhand.
Veteran Bollywood actress and Padma Shri Asha Parekh, praised the organization and gave thanks to its patrons. U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, D-NJ, recalled a trip to India and thanked Share & Care for the organization’s extensive COVID-19 disaster relief efforts.
Share & Care’s gala with the star artists will be telecast again on Oct. 17, for those who missed it on Oct. 10, and can be viewed on the organization’s website at www.shareandcare.org. Tune in to ITV Gold at 7:30PM ET to watch the gala. ITV Gold is available on Time Warner Cable (Spectrum) channel number 1539, Cable Vision (Optimum-Altice) 1168, and RCN on 476.
The show will also air at 7PM ET and 4 PM PT on TV Asia & World BBTV.