Nine-Year-Old Enlists Help Of Community to Make Her Birthday Wish Come True

Gowri Pillai is trying to collect more than 600 pounds of food for the Great Plains Food Bank

FARGO, N.D. — A West Fargo fourth grader turns down birthday gifts every year, instead asking for canned goods and non–perishables to give to the Great Plains Food Bank.

Sometimes all it takes is an idea.

“I like helping people and you feel good after helping a lot of people,” Pillai said.

To make a difference in the community around you.

For nine–year–old Gowri Pillai, it was seeing a homeless woman sitting on a bucket when she was four–years–old that inspired her to start a food drive.

This year she’s trying to collect more than 600 pounds of food for the Great Plains Food Bank. As her one and only birthday wish.

Even her classmates are trying to make it come true.

“Our principal asked me if we could do flyers or we could do a commercial and I said we could do a commercial,” Pillai said.

“One of our things that we look for is to promote leadership among our students. This is a great way to help her do that,” said Michael Shea, Independence Elementary principal.

It’s also instilling an important lesson in Pillai about giving back.

“We don’t have to be community organizers or big leaders. We can all do it in our own little ways and in our own acts of kindness and it’s all very possible,” said Rajani, Pillai’s mother.

After learning so many important lessons from having her own food drive, Pillai now hopes her classmates will give back too.

“They could help more people instead of getting presents. Or maybe not for their birthday and not getting gifts. Maybe they could just start a garage sale and give their money to charity,” Pillai said.

Although it seems that she’s already leaving a lasting impact at Independence Elementary.

“Kids see she’s doing something positive for the community and they want to do the same,” Shea said.

Inspiring so many more ideas that will soon be making a mark on the world too.

You can drop off donations now through Friday at Independence Elementary, CrossFit Fargo and the Academy for Children Montessori.

If you aren’t able to stop by, the “Gowri Annual Food Drive” Facebook page also has a donate button for monetary contributions.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News