Baruch College’s United Sikh Association members look out for their own.
That was never more apparent than it was last week, when the club stepped up to the plate in the wake of a deadly Queens Village fire that swept through the family home of one of its members, Karandeep Kainth, on April 28.
In less than 72 hours, Baruch’s United Sikh Association rolled out a GoFundMe in support of the Kainth family; club members were quick to spread the word via social media and word of mouth. As of press time, the fundraiser had amassed over $48,000 in donations from Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike.
“Baruch’s USA [United Sikh Association] is like one large family, and would never allow one to feel helpless or alone. We genuinely want to be there for Karan and his family, hence why we marketed the GoFundMe immensely, in hopes of lifting the financial burden off the Kainth family,” said Gurleena Singh, co-vice president of the Baruch United Sikh Association marketing team, in a statement to The Ticker. “Whatever happened still feels unreal, but all I know is that the way we unified for this incident is something we will remember forever.”
“Karan is a genuine and selfless person and would always be the first person to volunteer or help with anything. He is the type of person that even if he is starving and has a little food left, he would still offer it to a stranger. He is an amazing individual and so is his family, and I believe they need the love, care, and support that they are receiving,” she added, noting that she first met Kainth at a Baruch United Sikh Association soup kitchen event, where the two helped feed the homeless.
Singh also said that she set up a bake sale this week that will benefit Kainth and his family, along with a prayer meeting scheduled for this weekend.
A wide array of Baruch organizations, including Hindu Student Association, Bangladesh Student Association, Women in Islam, Muslim Student Association, South Asian Student Association and Undergraduate Student Government, were responsible for the contributions to the GoFundMe pages, as well as its wide reach. Singh and other club members also reached out to prominent Punjabi singers with large fan followings to help spread the word.
According to Baruch United Sikh Association Treasurer Pavneet Singh, however, the fundraiser was able to reach even more people thanks to Kainth’s far-reaching amiability.
“The GoFundMe was successful because we were able to obtain extensive reach on social media. Alongside USA, members of various Sikh Associations at other schools (i.e. Queens College, Hunter College, Adelphi University) reached out and contributed because Karan was friends with many people across campuses,” Pavneet stated in an interview online.
Pavneet also noted that Kainth is well known within Baruch United Sikh Association for his personable manner and contributions to the club, where he has been a member for around one year. Although he had not yet spoken to him as of press time, Pavneet told The Ticker that Kainth is recovering at Cornell Medical Center, where he has been visited by Baruch United Sikh Association President Rajbir Singh and is “very responsive and still has his sense of humor.”
A source who was on the scene after the fire told The Ticker that the site was “very frantic,” with more than 140 firefighters closing off multiple blocks in order to battle the 3-alarm blaze. According to the GoFundMe page, 11 people were in the house at the start of the fire, and its cause is still
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