Eighty-Six Children Celebrate Halloween Early with Donated Costumes, Candy and Pumpkins

Kanan Patel and her family organize an early Halloween party for local shelter

Kanan Patel and her family organize an early Halloween party for local shelter

Brookhaven, New York (October 12, 2015) With Halloween just around the corner, eighty-six children currently living at HELP USA’s Suffolk County Shelter spent the day picking pumpkins in their own specially curated pumpkin patch organized by local student Kanan Patel and her family. The pumpkin picking was followed by an early Halloween party, complete with costumes and candy, also donated by the Patel family.

This is Kanan’s second time to visit the shelter in just three months. In late August, Kanan helped to organize a school supply event, where she helped hand out backpacks filled with goodies to the children living on campus. A sophomore at Friends Academy, Kanan was inspired by her family’s nonprofit, the Chintu and Falguni Patel Foundation, and its involvement in advocating for health and education initiatives in India. Over the past several months she has taken on a more active role in working with her parents to identify opportunities to expand their philanthropy and make a difference for local families on Long Island.

Chintu Patel, CEO of the Chintu and Falguni Patel Foundation said, “There is no better time for kids to be kids, than Halloween. We hope that our donation of pumpkins, costumes and candy provides them and their families a moment of laughter and fun, no matter what else may be going on in their lives.”

Kanan Patel said, “Autumn is such a festive season, and I am so happy that I am able to spend the day at HELP USA celebrating it with these kids. Pumpkin picking has always been a favorite activity of mine, and I hope that our pumpkin patch brings a smile to all the kids and their families.”

HELP Suffolk is a 76-unit transitional housing facility for homeless families and it is part of HELP USA, one of the nation’s largest providers of housing and supportive services for the homeless. HELP Suffolk is one of the largest housing facilities 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 “Once again, HELP Suffolk is very grateful for the Chintu and Falguni Patel Foundation’s generous donation. The children and families that live here don’t often have a moment to catch their breath and enjoy something simple yet thrilling like pumpkin picking – and we are grateful and excited to give them that opportunity today.”

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.

About HELP USA

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.