Due to the coronavirus, more people than ever have been thrown into poverty. However, thankfully, there are many out there looking to help. Just take this young man, for example. He started as a refugee, and now he’s giving back to the poorest communities. And none other than Mark Cuban is helping him!
Teen Refugee’s New Life
As a refugee from Nepal, Ashis Dhakal, now 18-years-old, always felt that even the smallest tasks seemed impossible. From going to school, where he faced constant bullying, to simply trying to afford clothes, everything felt like an uphill battle. However, through it all, Dhakal never gave up. And now, the teen has realized that he didn’t need some amazing opportunity to do something incredible – he can just do it! It all started when an idea came to Dhakal while he was at work at KFC. A homeless man came in and told the teen that he had no clean clothing in the summer and couldn’t find a proper warm coat to wear amid winter winds. It was a story that Dhakal knew well from his childhood. So the teen decided to do something about it: he decided to host a clothing drive!
“My biggest ‘why’ in my life is that as a young child, going through poverty, I was in the same shoes as they were in right now,” Dhakal said. “I have a house. I have a computer now. I have a phone. But think about it: Those kids are still suffering. What I can do is better others so that, you know, they can give back to their community.” Now, his clothing drive has gone on to change the lives of so many less fortunate!
Mark Cuban’s Coats Challenge
Dhakal named his clothing drive Ashis Collects Clothes – hey, nothing wrong with a direct name – and it has operated since 2019. The teen continues posting photos of his collecting progress on Facebook, and lets his followers know how they can help. It’s a good thing Dhakal did since his efforts did not go unnoticed. Incredibly, Hoda Kolb from The Today Show saw the teen refugee and contacted him to mentor his future career. However, that was far from the end of the project. Following his work with Kolb, Dhakal’s personal hero, Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, connected with the young man. The billionaire challenged the teen to see if he could collect another 575 coats for the homeless.
Of course, along with Cubans help, Dhakal managed to smash the goal, no problem. In total, he received over 3,000 coats in just a couple of days! Then, NBC agreed to match the donation, giving him another 3,000! “You’re setting an example, Ashis, that it’s not about connections… It’s all about how hard you’re willing to work to getting something done,” Cuban said in a follow-up statement. Meanwhile, Dhakal feels happy to continue his great deeds, especially after praise from two megastars! “I’m very, very grateful and happy to be in a position where I am to bring my community together and make an impact,” he said.
Sources: Good News Network, The Today Show