University of Louisville sophomore Karthik Kalvakuri has big plans. In addition to his rigorous academic schedule as a pre-med student, Kalvakuri started a non-profit called Mission Curakid to help ensure children in impoverished countries around the world have access to proper healthcare services. Mission Curakid is still in its infancy and will take time and resources to develop. But when COVID-19 closed schools and sent the community into isolation, Kalvakuri knew there were young people right here in Jefferson County who needed help right away.
He and his peers got together and began reaching out to businesses and donors to gather supplies for kids in need. Working with Neighborhood House, a community center serving children and families in Portland and surrounding areas, the group of college students collected and assembled backpacks for 150 kids. The backpacks are comprised of school supplies, snacks, health and hygiene items, and a reusable Louisville pure tap® bottle.
As a sports photographer for U of L, Kalvakuri was familiar with pure tap and recognized the reusable bottles from various sporting events. Louisville Water donated the bottles and including these in the backpacks was a perfect fit, as Kalvakuri wanted to make sure the kids received items that not only promoted a healthy lifestyle but could be used repeatedly. The backpacks also included reusable cloth masks that were handmade and donated by members of the community.
“Not everyone has a specific job to do,” Kalvakuri stated, regarding COVID-19 response. “We’re just a group of kids coming together to do what we can to help.” Louisville Water will continue to work with Kalvakuri and his peers, as they are already organizing their second round of donations to be distributed later this summer and are coordinating with JCPS to identify student populations in need of their resources.