In a recent podcast interview, we spoke with Raj Desai, CEO of the India Community Center (ICC). With the main center based in Milpitas, ICC has served as a hub of culture, celebration, and community.
Within a week of the shelter-in-place order, Desai and the team at ICC realized that they couldn’t sit back and wait another moment.
They immediately launched an online platform of preschool classes, after school programs, fitness classes, and sessions for seniors. Hundreds of people tune in each week to be a part of ICC’s 30 virtual programs.
Even though they aren’t currently receiving pay, the staff has stayed onboard to teach the online classes and keep the ICC community connected and engaged.
“Being a not-for-profit organization, we could not keep everybody on payroll. So we all furloughed ourselves, while remaining engaged as volunteers,” said Desai.
When they were open, Desai estimates that they had 40,000 – 50,000 people a year come through their centers across a variety of programs and events. ICC even has a program where they support 600 seniors, providing them with classes and opportunities to socialize. The program also involves feeding free nutritious vegetarian lunches to seniors every day, which is a collaborative effort between ICC and Santa Clara County.
This is something that they have been able to continue throughout the crisis. At present, 16 volunteers are delivering 150 lunches to seniors a day.
“I’m very blessed to have a community that’s very supportive. It’s all local effort, it’s all local engagement. It’s a very open organization. You can be of any origin, any race, any language..you are welcome at the India Community Center. We are very happy to be in Milpitas,” said Desai.
You have two ways of enjoying the full interview. You can either listen to it, or watch the video.
Also, the ICC started a GoFundMe campaign, due to their loss of revenue. You can find it here.