The V List Magazine Fall 2020

Page 10


Something Special on the North Shore


efore the 2020 pandemic, the North Shore seemed like an idyllic place with a high quality of life. The Coronavirus came along and created a different reality - one in which many who live in this beautiful enclave have been pushed to the edge of their financial means and beyond. Karim Virani, who lives on the North Shore, realized that a growing number people within his local community were struggling to make ends meet, and were in need of help. Due to a principle instilled early in his life by his parents, that one should always "sow where they reap", Karim saw an opportunity to fulfill a long held dream to give back to his community the kindness he had received from them. With this in mind, he brought together a team to launch a philanthropic venture called "Human-Kind". Its mission? As Karim's daughter Alyssa Virani describes it, "Our purpose is to spread kindness and encourage kindness in the community. Something very simple, but often forgotten.” Realizing that most students in their community looking for summer jobs were struggling to find work in a pandemic economy, they decided to bring


on a team of 5 post-secondary students as summer interns to get the project going. “We knew that we were providing a mentoring opportunity for them, but also an opportunity for them to explore and understand their community better”, explain Lynda and Loring Phinney of House of Purpose, a lead supporter and one of the mentors brought in to help guide the students. Karim shared his vision with these interns and tasked them with studying the local community to discover pressing needs that Human-Kind could potentially address. The interns came back with the idea of creating meal kits for families - surprisingly, in such a seemingly wealthy community as the North Shore, there are many families that don’t have reliable access to nutritious meals. The pandemic has only made it worse. The concept around providing meal kits stems from the idea that food insecurity often means relying on canned foods and other non-perishables. “We wanted to find a way of providing families with healthy meals made with fresh ingredients”, explains Alyssa. Further, given the emotional stress induced by food insecurity, they wanted to provide a


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