P.O. BOX 60241, Potomac, MD 20859-0241, www.karunacharities.org

Fourteen Yuva Volunteers Cook for Homeless Shelter, February 23, 2024

YUVA, the vibrant youth chapter of Karuna Charities, orchestrated an uplifting and dynamic meal cookout event that radiated positivity and compassion. Fourteen spirited kids converged on Friday, February 23rd at Anna Sudha community kitchen with a shared mission: to prepare 75 wholesome meals for those in need at a local homeless shelter.
Despite the four-hour duration of their kitchen endeavor, neither the kids nor their parents faltered. Their faces were adorned with smiles of satisfaction and fulfillment. Their unwavering energy and enthusiasm shone brightly as they loaded the car and meticulously tidied the kitchen, leaving behind a space brimming with warmth and goodwill.
The result of their efforts brought immeasurable joy to the Patrick Henry Family Shelter, evident in the heartfelt gratitude we received. Priyanka Rattana and Sangita Kalotra as Coordinators of YUVA, are very proud of the enthusiasm, dedication and generosity displayed by all the young volunteers and their supportive parents. A Big thanks to all the youth volunteers, their parents, and Karuna Charities board members. Also, Yuva would like to thank Anna Sudha Community kitchen for all the help in making this event successful!

Yuva Volunteer Work Flyer 2024

Karuna Siver Jubilee

The children were excited to see their artwork displayed on the wall at the Karuna Charities Gala event. The themes of the artwork were giving, sharing, charity, volunteering and helping others.

$50 Gift Certificate for 50 Children at Embry Rucker Shelter and Cornerstones, VA

As we prepare to think of gifts to give to our family and friends, we certainly think of needy families and children in shelters.  In this spirit of giving, we as a group decided to give a $50 gift certificate to each of the 50 kids at the Embry Rucker Shelter in Reston, Virginia as well as to children in Cornerstones, VA.

The year 2022 concludes with little ones listening to the Karuna Story from their mothers and grandmothers and contributing towards fifty $50 gift cards for Thanksgiving for needy kids at Embry Rucker Shelter and Cornerstones in Viginia. Our collection of money exceeded our expectations! The Manager of the Shelter was teary eyed as she was presented with the Gift Cards.

Karuna Charities thanks the following contributors for their generosity:

Sahiba and Arjan Kalotra (Amrit Kalotra, Sangita Kalotra); Kinny and Rahil Gujral (Jyoti Gujral); Nia, Rina, Aanya and Naura (Gita Bhatia); Anshu Sharma; Rohini Khera; Asha Dingra; Mira (Sushma Oberoi); Mahika and Shaan (Priyanka Rattana); Meeta Saluja; Jieva and Jemma (Jasbir Sethi, Jasmine Singh); Milana and Adriana (Mara Puri); Bina Dhir; Savita Malhotra, Katelyn Barber (Taruna Barber); Sujata Avasthi; Meena Singh; Sajeh Jaspal (Kavitha Jaspal); Paula Verdun; Mama Tigre Restaurant (Renu Prakash); Shashi Anand; Ravinder Singh; Manmeet Singh; Jaslin Bhandari; Sonia Anand; Primal Bhatia; Santosh Thakral; Ajay and Dhilan (Lily Singh); and Veena Kolluri.

Sujata Avasthi and Sangita Kalotra handing over the gift cards on behalf of Karuna Charities to Mr. George Everett, Director of Operations and Saira Sufi, Manager and Volunteer, Community Engagement.

Sidrah Asghar’s Contribution to Karuna Charities in Her Own Words

I participated in helping Karuna Charities by raising money and collecting shampoos, conditioners & deodorant for women in need. In order to be efficient, I researched where I could find good prices for these products. I looked at multiple stores and what they had offered. It turned out that Walmart sells good products at a reasonable price making it easier for me to buy more products for the same amount of money. I helped raise money by reaching out to friends, family and my mother’s co-workers to ensure to spread the word around about Karuna Charities. I was able to raise 400 dollars! I learned that although I needed to do the hours, it’s something I enjoyed doing because helping people brings me joy and happiness. I also reached some websites and charities that help with hurricane Ian in Florida. Overall I’m grateful for the experience and I learned a lot about community service, how to be a better person, how to be effective & efficient!!

Sidrah Asghar’s Karuna Fundraising Poster

Community Service conducted by Devin Singh Jekat, Grandson of proud Grandma Kanti Singh and happy Mom Tina Singh. Karuna Charities congratulates him for his great efforts

Karuna Charities Youth Leader Devin Singh Jekat created and led an initiative to provide new or gently used winter clothing to Afghan refugees on behalf of Karuna Charities. This volunteer effort also served as Devin’s Eagle Project for BSA Scouts. Devin supervised a team of 48 volunteers, including registered BSA Scouts parents and children, to perform a total of 170 hours of service work to collect donations which were evaluated, sorted and labeled to make it easier for the donations to be distributed to needy recipients. This work resulted in 24 bags of winter clothing donated on March 6, 2022 from Karuna Charities.  In addition, Devin raised over $500 in funds from BSA Scout members to support the mission of Karuna Charities of helping the disadvantaged including domestic violence victims.



Amrit Kalotra

Jasbir Sethi

Vice President
Kanti Singh

Vice President
Sujata Avasthi

Promila Banik

Joint Treasurer
Bina Dhir

Joint Secretary
Savita Malhotra

YUVA, The Youth Group of Karuna Charities is excited to share updates on all our initiatives since December 2020.

Spreading Cheer, December 2020

As our first initiative, children spread cheer by making holiday cards for seniors in Waltonwood Assisted Living in Ashburn, Virginia. About 20 kids created 170 holiday cards and brought smiles to 100 seniors who couldn’t spend holidays with their families due to COVID. In addition, we also emailed a holiday cards montage to a Senior Center in Cascades, Sterling who happily included it in their monthly e-newsletter.

Inaugural Event, January 20th, 2021:

YUVA celebrated Republic Day by organizing a virtual talent show for kids, which was also our inaugural event. Sixteen kids from ages 5-14 participated in the Talent Show and captivated viewers with their singing, dancing and instrumental performances. A big thank you to everyone who joined us for this wonderful event. The coordinators also took part in the event by performing a soulful rendition of the Indian National Anthem (Harita Raja), a melodious patriotic song (Sangita Kalotra) and a graceful Bollywood dance (Priyanka Rattana). Pledges raised by this event were donated to the National Center for Women and their Families in Bethesda, Maryland.

Read-a-Thon, March – April 2021 

Twenty-two children participated in a Read-a-Thon organized by YUVA recently. Each reader pledged to donate a sum to Karuna Charities based on the number of pages/books they would read.  The Read-a-Thon encouraged kids to utilize their time effectively and develop good reading habits. It also inspired kids to help other children who are in need and have limited means and opportunities. The total donation collected ($705) was sent to Homestretch, who will be using it towards their children’s program to buy shoes, clothes and school supplies. (https://homestretchva.org/programs/).

We asked our readers to share their experience with Read-a-Thon and the book(s) they enjoyed reading. We are so delighted to receive their response and thoughts:

“One of the books I liked was called 5,000 Awesome Facts about Everything. I just read about 10 pages, but they were 10 good pages. I read about weird sea creatures. One of my favorite facts was about the boxfish which is actually shaped like a cube! I’m glad my reading helped other kids”. 

-Katelyn Barber, Age: 7

“My favorite book which I read during the course of the Read-A-Thon was The Mirror of Human Life, by authors Jane Clark and Derek Connon. It analyses and explains the influence of the Ancien Regime-Cour on the music of Francois Couperin, specifically his Pieces de Clavecin. I liked that the book, while covering controversial historical topics such as dictatorship and the caste systems, still aims to present a balanced and logical approximation of Couperin’s thoughts while composing the Pieces de Clavecin, and what he intended for the listener to hear. I enjoyed participating in this Read-A-Thon to donate money to the Homestretch organization.” 

-Cayden Taylor, Age: 10

“I loved the Read-a-Thon. My favorite book was Billionaire Boy because it was very realistic. The book was about a little boy hiding that he was a billionaire”.

– Aanya Garg Age: 9

“My favorite book was Thea Stilton and the Mountain of Fire. I liked the book because I love mystery books and it was about a mystery. I loved the Read-a-Thon.”

– Naura Garg Age: 7

“My favorite book is Diary of an Ice Princess: Slush Puppy Love by Christina Soontornvat. I like it because it’s like a fairytale and it has lots of animals. Yes I liked this Read-aThon because it’s helping people and I like helping people”.

– Jieva Singh Age: 8

“I really liked a book called Unicorn Day by Diana Murray because it’s fiction and I really like fiction books. I liked this Read-A-Thon because you can help people because they live on a street or homeless shelter”.

– Jemma Singh Age: 6

 “My favorite book was Case Closed, Mystery in the Mansion by Lauren Magaziner. I love reading mystery books and this one was about a boy who tries to help his mom solve a case that could save her failing detective agency. The reader helps in solving the mystery through riddles and clues. I really recommend this book for those who like to read exciting mysteries! I enjoyed the Read-A-Thon because I like to read and share my thoughts and experiences with others. I am happy I could help kids who need basic supplies.”

– Arjan Singh Kalotra Age: 9 

“I love reading books, so I really enjoyed Read-a-thorn. I enjoyed Descendants 3 because it has kids of all the good and bad Disney characters. I like Disney books and movies.”

– Arianna Dhawan, Age 8

“I like the book Never Let a Unicorn Scribble because I love scribbling and drawing unicorns. The book is about a girl and a unicorn. The girl really wants her unicorn to scribble.  I enjoyed reading this for Read-a-Thorn.”

– Aleena Dhawan, Age 6

“I really enjoyed Read-A-Thon! During Read-A-Thon, I read a book called Ickabog, by J. K. Rowling. What I liked about this book are the details and description, so you felt like you were with the characters. It was so interesting that I didn’t want to stop reading it.”

– Mahika Sharma, Age 12

“I love books, so I enjoyed Read-A-Thon! I read the 9th book of the Wings of Fire series. I love this series because it is about dragons and I love dragons. Also, it is a pretty interesting series as it has both suspense and action.”

– Shaan Sharma, Age 8.

A big thank you for these insightful comments and to all those who took part in this Read-a-Thon!

Our next YUVA event will be announced soon so please make sure to keep an eye on the Karuna Charities website: www.karunacharities.org (under the YUVA page). Your suggestions for future activities are most welcome.



Amrit Kalotra

Jasbir Sethi

Vice President
Kanti Singh

Vice President
Sujata Avasthi

Promila Banik

Joint Treasurer
Bina Dhir

Joint Secretary
Savita Malhotra

Karuna Charities (Karuna means compassion in Sanskrit) is a 501(c)(3) grassroots organization that makes a difference in the lives of the needy and disadvantaged in the United States, India and other countries, regardless of their race, color, gender or ethnicity.
Yuva (Yuva means youth in Sanskrit) is the Youth Group of Karuna Charities. As children are our future, we feel it is important to support them in understanding their culture and that of the world around them. This will give them a window to the world and their place in it.

Aims of this group:

  1. To guide our children to build a sense of community service through educational and cultural activities
  2. To teach our children the importance of giving back to our community
  3. To help and educate our children to appreciate their rich Indian culture and enrich their lives by learning about different cultures of the world
    As parents, we have strived for balance in teaching our children about the importance of community, especially during these challenging times. Our children can easily engage to appreciate their community, learn how to give back and participate in their culture when given the opportunity. We have seen the value in passing down Indian culture to the next generation and avoiding entitlement.  Imagine the excitement of our children to learn about different festivals such as Diwali, the basics of cricket, the sound of the sitar and the various cuisines of India. Understanding the juxtaposition of their culture with the cultures of the world allows our children to build confidence and gain a better understanding of themselves and the complexities they face in a fast-changing world.

    We hope you join us in this important endeavor. We are excited about
    our first event and look forward to seeing you there.

YUVA Coordinators:

Priyanka Rattana (703) 347 2659
Sangita Kalotra (703) 628 7170


What: Indian Republic Day Children’s Talent Show
When: Sunday, January 17 th from 3:30-5:00pm
Where: Virtual Zoom (link to be sent out later)


Harita Raja
Sangita Kalotra
Priyanka Rattana

Please feel free to contact us via e-mail at: yuva.karuna2020@gmail.com.