Share & Care’s Make a Difference 5K Walk/Run Raises Over $70,000 to Empower Rural India

Thank you to the hundreds who registered, sponsored, and volunteered to make this event an incredible success.

Share & Care Foundation held its inaugural Make a Difference 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Overpeck County Park in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. The event raised over $70,000 for our programs to empower rural India with opportunities for gender equality, healthcare, education, and sanitation and hygiene.



More than 340 people ages 1 to 80 participated in the event, which also included a 1K KIDS Walk/Run, yoga and other wellness activities, and a charity drive benefiting two local nonprofits. Attendees received complimentary T-shirts, and each child who participated in the 1K KIDS Walk/Run received a medal. In a sentimental exchange between a Share & Care member and two young attendees — Mishka Varaiya (age 6) and Aarya Shah (age 5) — the girls said it was “the best day” of their lives.

After the main event, the top runners in each category were honored during an awards ceremony. Congratulations to the following winners:

Men’s Category:
1st: Shaf Qu (20:38.55)
2nd: Paul Baly (21:53.25)
3rd: Nimai Parikh (22:06.71)

Women’s Category:
1st: Kelsey Ford (24:24.69)
2nd: Sareena Parikh (25:03.45)
3rd: Yoko Perez (26:02.03)

Boys (12 and Under) Category:
1st: Ryan Cox (30:31.34)
2nd: Sami Gurunathan (31:45.08)
3rd: Aagam Kothari (36:47.33)

Girls (12 and Under) Category:
1st: Suhani Pandya (39:20.28)
2nd: Shanaya Parikh (41:33.70)
3rd: Riya Daga (41:36.77)


Miss New Jersey 2017, Chhavi Verg, and Yoga Instructor Preet Kaur helping to hand out awards after the race.

“This is perhaps one of the most unique events held under the Share & Care banner in a long time,” says Victor Gurunathan, a member of Share & Care’s Board of Trustees. “The 5K has clearly emerged as a platform to usher in the much-needed participation of a younger generation of volunteers who can carry our mission into the future. Kudos to Share & Care Foundation members Shreya Mehta, Vipul Shah, Saumil Parikh, and their wonderful team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to pull off this joyous event with clinical precision, even under inclement weather.”

“The goal of any event organized by a nonprofit organization is always twofold,” Gurunathan explains. “One is to generate funds to support its causes and the other, no less important, is to propagate awareness of its purpose to many with the hope they will be fans and benefactors. The 5K has amply succeeded in both respects, which was clearly demonstrated by the huge number of registrants and participants along with the funds raised.”

The entire Share & Care team would like to express our sincere gratitude to the 45 volunteers and 30 sponsors who contributed time, energy, funds, and in-kind donations to make this event possible. Because of their help, and because of the support of everyone who attended despite rain and cloudy skies, the Make a Difference 5K Walk/Run accomplished what it was designed to do — make a positive difference for marginalized women, children, and families in rural India.

Anyone interested in volunteering at future events or becoming an ambassador for Share & Care in their own community (e.g., at a high school or university) is invited to contact Administrative and Operations Director Tejal Parekh at (201) 262-7599 or via email at [email protected].

Would you like to contribute to our mission? This event may have passed, but the need for generosity continues. Donate today to make a difference in India’s poorest communities.