WALNUT CREEK (KPIX 5) — A Walnut Creek man is on a mission to give as many children as possible the tools for a good education.
Wren Avenue Elementary School in Concord is an art magnet school with no arts budget. So Principal Celeste Graybill says a $10,000 dollar donation of art supplies is a big deal.
“The children’s faces are going to light up,” said Graybill with a smile.
From paints to crayons, first grade teacher Eric Vandetta says school’s nearly 400 students have what they need to unleash their creativity.
“We wouldn’t be able to function without it,” Vandetta said.
The art supplies were donated by Sunny Singh of Walnut Creek and his nonprofit Yours Humanly.
Singh grew up in his native India witnessing heartbreaking poverty.
“What bothered me most were little children sleeping on sidewalks in near freezing temperatures, begging on the streets,” Singh said.
Singh realized he could have been one of them had his adoptive parents not given him a better life.
So he started Yours Humanly in 2013 to give underserved kids access to an education.
“I’m going to give the same opportunity that was given to me to as many children as I can around the world,” said Singh.
He said Yours Humanly has served more than 25,000 children in the U.S., Cambodia, Haiti, India, Nepal and the Philippines.
In Nepal, director Candina Gurung says Bay Area donations have funded scholarships, uniforms, and books for two thousand kids since 2015, giving them hope.
“Otherwise they’d be farm laborers without an education in a rural place where you can barely grow crops,” Gurung said. “Now their future’s wide open for them.”
In the East Bay, Mt. Diablo Unified School Board member Cherise Khaund has seen Sunny’s nonprofit donate equipment from STEM kits to ChromeBooks earlier this year to facilitate distance learning.
“They care so deeply and understand the need, they just want to fill that need right away,” Khaund said.
So for providing underserved children around the world tools for a life-changing education, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Sunny Singh.