Fueling Innovation to Help the Homeless

Komal Ahmad

By Tina Hovsepian
Founder, Cardborigami and 2015 Toyota Mother of Invention

As a fellow Toyota Mother of Invention, I am honored to welcome Copia into our sisterhood of change-makers on the West Coast! The founder of Copia, Komal Ahmad, was inspired to help feed the local homeless community in the northern California area while attend the progressive school UC Berkely. She and her team have developed an app that allows those who have left over food, say from a conference, to efficiently donate it to local organizations that feed the homeless. In this innovative way she has connected the haves with the have-nots to feed people instead of trashing perfectly edible food! It is fantastic.

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Similarly, I had my initial spark of my mission to shelter the homeless while visiting a friend at UC Berkley in 2007. Komal and I both understood that people who are homeless all have different stories and circumstances that lead to their current unfortunate position. Once we cultivated this compassion and understanding, we were able to create innovative solutions. I feel so hopeful that there are educational institutions that inspire more youth to fight for humanitarian causes and I applaud Ahmad for her success.  I am also very proud that more and more young people, especially women and innovators, are stepping up to take action towards alleviating the sufferings of people around the world. If a person does not have their basic necessities met, there is a slim chance they will be able to focus on recovering from financial, emotional or physical hardship, let alone leading a stable life.

The work of the numerous Mothers of Invention are not only helping people, but changing the way that society as a whole views problems such as homelessness. By sharing our stories about how we were inspired to make a change, we are inspiring others as well. I think this is the greatest impact of all because if more people can be compassionate towards others we will all be moving towards a more peaceful global community with less poverty, waste, and hunger.

I would challenge you to think about what you can do to make a better world. Volunteer, donate, lend a helping hand, or just encourage the person in front of you.

What will you do today to help make a difference? 

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