PRIYA CHATWANI



LA Helping Hands / AllTogether LA Co-Founder, March 2020 - Present
After being sent home from college due to Covid-19, my sister Nisha, partner JJ, and I started a mutual aid group called LA Helping Hands. We wanted to engage other young people in delivering groceries and perscriptions to seniors and high-risk individuals, and in doing so, help build virtual companionship and lasting relationships among neighbors.

Along the way, some highlights of our jouney include: While all of this was happening, young folks in Santa Clara, New Jersey, Seattle, and Tahoe applied our vision to their communities, creating Helping Hands branches of their own. Together, we have facilitated grassroots mutual aid support nationwide.

Witnessing and being a part of such amazing youth-led efforts in the wake of Covid-19 gave me hope. It also inspired me to become an ambassador for Peace First, an organization that empowers young people ages 13-25 to be effective changemakers. As an ambassador, I help other young people define and enact solutions for injustices in their communities.

In May 2020, our LA branch merged with another LA mutual aid group, AllTogether LA. This merge has allowed us to expand our reach across LA County to 750+ high-risk individuals. Due to our non-profit status, we are also able to provide free and subsidized groceries to low-income seniors.

Within AllTogether LA, I facilitate partnerships with organizations such as Shop4Seniors and FightPandemics. Recently, I created a Typescript web app, which our volunteer coordinators use daily to match volunteers with individuals in need.