Backpack Donation

Kanan Patel hands a backpack and school supplies to HELP USA resident, six year old Jose Khanna from Ronkonkoma

Brookhaven, New York (August 31, 2015) Just days before the new school year begins, 86 children currently living at HELP USA’s Suffolk County Shelter received fully stocked backpacks, organized by local student and Dix Hills resident, Kanan Patel.

Kanan, who is about to enter her sophomore year at Friends Academy, was inspired by her family’s dedication to advocating for health and education initiatives in India. She worked with her father to identify an opportunity to expand their philanthropy and make a difference for local families on Long Island. Kanan worked alongside her parents and their nonprofit, the Chintu and Falguni Patel Foundation, to locate the Brookhaven shelter and secure the appropriate supplies. The Foundation contacted Target and Kanan and was able to organize a shopping trip for friends and family, where they purchased and filled the backpacks.

Chintu Patel, CEO of the Chintu and Falguni Patel Foundation said, “I’m very proud of the work that we have been able to accomplish with my Foundation – and I’m looking forward to working closely with my daughter and family to expand our impact here on Long Island. Today is about community, charity and the importance of education – and I could not be happier to stand beside my daughter to give these kids a little extra hope for the year to come.”

Kanan Patel said, “My parents have raised me to value community and to have the desire to help others. School is so important to me, and I wanted to help others start the school year on the right foot.”

HELP Suffolk is a 76-unit transitional housing facility for homeless families. HELP Suffolk is the largest housing facility for the homeless on Long Island.  The complex sits on seven acres of property and consists of four residential buildings, a community building, two playgrounds and a baseball field.

Frances Pierre, senior vice president of Family Services and Day Care at HELP USA, stated “HELP Suffolk is very grateful for the Chintu and Falguni Patel Foundation’s generous donation.  As our nation’s children return to school, it is exceptionally challenging for young people who have experienced homelessness to have a smooth transition into a new school, homework and the many dynamics that come with a new school year.  These very generous backpacks will ensure our HELP Suffolk kids return to school with dignity and pride.”

“This donation is so wonderful and will help my child go back-to-school equipped with the tools to get the education he needs to build a life for himself,” stated Denise Triple, a HELP Suffolk resident. She went on to say that, “My family, and all of us here at HELP Suffolk, are so grateful for the very timely and practical donation from the Patel Foundation.”

The Chintu and Falguni Patel Foundation (aka the Irada Foundation) operates in India and on Long Island with a focus on health and education issues. Inspired by her parents, Kanan hopes to carry on a tradition of philanthropy and community service.


HELP USA is one of the nation’s largest providers of housing and supportive services for the homeless.  Through comprehensive programs and quality housing construction, HELP USA residents live with dignity in a safe environment.  Since its founding 29 years ago, the non-profit organization serves homeless populations including single adults, families, veterans, and victims of domestic violence.  More than 350,000 people have been served through its residences and programs.

HELP USA has developed $180 million of permanent and supportive housing, providing close to 6,000 units of permanent and transitional housing and invests over $8 million in veteran services across the nation.  Every year, HELP USA serves more than 20,000 people, which includes providing over 1,800 young people with mentoring, sports, and after school activities.

Additional supportive services offered by HELP USA include: employment training; veterans services; medical services; HIV/AIDS services; early childhood education; mental health services, and domestic violence counseling.