Video game inspires help for homeless
Questions about hunger and homelessness. About how young people can need shelter in this town of big back yards, SUVs and shopping malls. How he, an average kid in a suburban elementary school, can do anything about it.
And then he found the answers in the pastime he loves most.
Knowing his fondness for video games, Vivek uncle, Rishi Anand, gave him a one week stint at a computer programming camp for his eighth birthday.
Vivek asked lots of questions about game programming and created one himself, called Sheep in the Desert.
He explains it this way:
don want to hit the bad guys because you lose a life, but if you get a pickax ugg sale e, you can hit the rocks. They block the oasis, which teleports you to the next level. sounds more complicated than it is.
At the same time, he was asking his parents about what he was learning from his Grade 3 teacher at Silver Pines Public School. Was it true? Were there really children without homes in Richmond Hill?
His dad, a Toronto community support worker, invited him to help distribute bags of food to school children. It was an eye opener.
More questio ugg sale ns led Vivek to an organization called Youth Without Shelter, a Toronto emergency residence and referral agency providing shelter and support programs for homeless youth.
He asked his parents what he could he do. They came up with the idea of cooking a meal for the kids and delivering it to the shelter.
A tour of the residence spurred more questions from Vivek. He readily rattles off what he learned.
you know there are 10,000 homeless youth a year in Toronto? And if you think of the world as a global village with 100 people, 50 don have reliable source of food, 20 do sometimes, and 30 do all the time. also learned Youth Without Shelter budgets $2 a day for each client to pay for three meals and snacks. That fact stuck with him. Standing in line at Tim Horton waiting for his doughnut, he had more questions.
come they just get $2? For ugg sale all their meals? This doughnut cost $1.90! That just leave you 10 cents! What can you buy with a that?
he asked. you sell my video game at work so we can raise their meal budget? Uncle Rishi came up with a better idea. Vivek could create a blog and sell the game there, with a link to Youth Without Sh ugg sale elter online donation system.
So far, he has raised more than $1,000.
Now, he has a new question: I can make that much, why can I get to $4,000? pretty impressive that someone at such a young age could be so aware of the issue, development assistant Poonam Saini said.
Vivek, now a student in the gifted program at Crosby Heights Public School, created a PowerPoint presentation to explain the issue to his classmates. He clicks past the Transformers background on his laptop to show a visitor two pictures he uses to blast through stereotypes: one with a person huddled on a blanket on the sidewalk, another with a group of average teenagers. Both represent the homeless.
not just dirty and yucky, he says.
think they don have perseverance and courage and other stereotypes and biases . but that not right. Maybe your mom and dad lose their job and you can pay the mortgage. You could become homeless, too.
came up with this idea: everybody in the community plays a role to help each other and if you have people in your community who are homeless, then you not playing a role.