Preet Jani

The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation is supporting a #Partners4Peace fundraiser to benefit the “Ray of Hope Relief Fund”, developed by Preet Jani, a teenager from Albany, Georgia, to help with the current COVID-19 crisis in India. Donations made to this fund will go to people in desperate need through Service Organizations in India who direct resources at the grass roots level.

Preet told us that as the COVID-19 pandemic began to worsen in India, his uncle was diagnosed with a severe case of the virus. Despite being a healthy, hard-working man, his condition progressively worsened, impacting the family immensely as Preet’s young cousin and aunt were without his helping hand. Preet’s great aunt was also hospitalized but lost her valiant fight against the disease. “Witnessing firsthand the psychosocial effect of a COVID-19 diagnosis on the family as well as the financial implications allowed me to recognize the need for resources to address this issue,” said Preet.

Preet said that “kindness, compassion, and humanity” were three words that reverberated to him when he spoke to his uncle. “When death is staring at you, random acts of kindness by friends, family, and community is uplifting.” Preet’s uncle told him that during the worst times, he saw the best from people. “He was looking for hope and healing,” Preet said, “and found it from the community around him, reaching out to lift his spirits.”

“This coupled with similar experiences with friends and family in India who are significantly less fortunate than most individuals due to the lack of resources solidifies my desire to contribute to assist with COVID relief.  While distraught families are losing their loved ones, hospitals have run out of oxygen, ventilators and medications. We can do something about this, our support will provide a lifeline for those in distress and provide hope to the families in India. Please join me to assist patients and families in desperate need,” said Preet.

There are approximately 1 million new COVID-19 cases in India every three days. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India is now more than 21 million. Oxygen is a key treatment for critically ill COVID-19 patients, and to get oxygen supplies to where they are needed most, the government is using trains, and the Indian Air Force is airlifting oxygen from military bases. Critical care beds are scarce. Many families are frantically searching for a bed for their loved ones as India’s hospitals and medical facilities are beyond capacity and have run out of oxygen and other needed medical supplies. Hundreds of patients can be seen awaiting lifesaving care outside facilities in crowded city centers.

“Mattie Stepanek taught us that peace begins with having your basic needs met,” Preet commented, “such as food, shelter, healthcare, safety, and hope. If you are okay with who and how you are, then it is your responsibility to help someone else have their basic needs met. The mission of Mattie’s Foundation parallels my own, and I am grateful that the Foundation is helping us by spreading awareness of our fund. This may seem like a small gesture towards a more peaceful world, but we have to start somewhere. We need a world that has no violence, a world that respects all people no matter what their situation is – a world where everyone is treated equally.”

“We are proud to be #Partners4Peace with Preet as he puts his compassion into action through this fundraiser,” said Jeni Stepanek, CEO and Chief Peace Officer of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation. “We humbly ask that caring and compassionate people everywhere support this fund to help save lives.”

Donation impact: $100 USD (approximately 7,000 Rs.) supports the basic needs of 10-15 people in a community in India. You can donate to the “Ray of Hope Relief Fund” by visiting: