The concept of Empower Orphans was ideated by Neha Gupta in 2005, when she was only nine years old. It is a tradition within the Gupta family to celebrate family birthdays by taking food and gifts to orphaned children in the family’s Indian hometown. Since an early age, Neha has participated in this tradition during her trips to India from the United States.
When Neha was nine years old, the harsh reality of the orphaned children’s prospects hit Neha hard. She realized that there was no one in the world that really loved the orphans and they could not get a good education as they did not have the means to purchase school books. Instead of just feeling empathy towards them, she took action and decided that she wanted to help make a difference in the lives of the orphans.
Neha has raised more than $1000000 thus far. Majority of the funds were raised by making and selling wine charms at community events, through friends and family, and by going door to door in various neighborhoods. Additionally a number of corporate sponsors have donated gifts in kind.
She has won numerous awards for her efforts, including: World of Children Award, Kohls Cares, Prudential Spirit of Community Award, Huggable Heroes, Caring Institute Hall of Fame, Power Of Children Award, Gold Level President’s Volunteer Service Award; Great Friend to Kids Award; Wachovia’s 2008 National Philanthropic Award; Bronze Medal for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award; Philadelphia 76ers Hometown Hero Award; as well as becoming a finalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer’s 2008 and 2009 Citizen of the Year.