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UBC grad students help connect donors with schools in need

When Mohit Sodhi and Lindsay Richter enrolled in a course at the University of British Columbia on the social determinants of health, it gave them an idea for a charity.

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The donors: Mohit Sodhi and Lindsay Richter

The gift: Creating YNOTFORTOTS Society

The reason: To supply schools in low-income neighbourhoods with equipment

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When Mohit Sodhi and Lindsay Richter enrolled in a course at the University of British Columbia on the social determinants of health, it gave them an idea for a charity.

The course taught them the importance of early child development on long-term health, so they came up with an innovative way for schools to find badly needed equipment to help students stay active. The 22-year-olds, who are both UBC graduate students, created the YNOTFORTOTS Society, which operates an "item registry."

First Mr. Sodhi and Ms. Richter ask a group of schools what equipment they need, then they list the requests on a website (ynotfortots.com). The requests range from footballs and soccer balls to bicycles, art supplies and cooking appliances. Donors contact the society to contribute an item and the society arranges free pickup. Once the bulk of the requested goods have been donated, Mr. Sodhi and Ms. Richter bring them to the school. The society also runs workshops for students on health care, self esteem and art, and is involving volunteers from high schools across Vancouver.

"We're encouraging philanthropy within all ages," Ms. Richter said.

Added Mr. Sodhi: "When we make deliveries and see the kids so excited about these items it really makes it so worth it. It kind of melts my heart to see that."

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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