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Never Underestimate The Philanthropic Power of Kids

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Krishna Pendyala, chief operating officer and coach of Waldron Wealth Management in Pittsburgh, and his wife Sangeetha have two children: a son, Nyan (which means “sight” in Sanskrit) and a daughter, Lehka (whose name means “writing”). About six years ago, Pendyala told me, he was sitting with Nyan on his lap while looking over a report from Orbis, a nonprofit humanitarian organization committed to saving sight worldwide, to which he and his wife contributed.

When Nyan, then 4, asked about the caption on a picture of Ronald McDonald, Krishna explained that the clown was opening a pediatric eye hospital in India. Blindness in India is considered a near-fatal disease, reducing the average life span to only a few years. The tragedy is that simple eye drops applied at the right time can sometimes make the difference between shadowy darkness or a life of full-color clarity.

Nyan said, “Papa, I want to build an eye hospital in India so blind children can read.” His younger sister has shown similar enthusiasm, telling her dad, “Once children can see, they can write.”

To date, Nyan and Lehka (now aged 10 and 8) have raised more than $21,000 for their eye hospital from friends at school, foregon birthday gifts, and nationwide donations. Their “Kids for Sight” effort recently ranked 18th out of 1,190 projects entered in the American Express “Members Project” competition–a remarkable feat! (To learn more, see


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