Volunteering / Community Services

After getting his Ham Radio license, Dhruv became involved in ARRL Field Days and public service events with the Central Illinois Radio Club, including the “We Care Twin Cities Marathon” and the “Hop on for Hope Bike Ride/Walk.” While Amateur Radio is a hobby, it is also a service which brings people, electronics, and communication together. Dhruv says he found a way to combine his interest in space and engineering with his new hobby. He joined AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) and pursued his dream of a school contact with astronaut Joe Acaba onboard the International Space Station.

It is his imagination and vision that led the students get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk to the astronauts on the International Space Station. 

The contact was broadcasted live to the entire school and Unit 5 school district and a live broadcast was held internationally as the program itself is to educate all the students worldwide promoting the interest in STEM.

 

COMMUNITY SERVICES / VOLUNTEERING

 

 

It’s IMPACT

 

 

 

” Holistically, the problems that we are trying to solve are gigantic. 

The culmination of our works brings us one step closer to creating a better future for humanity. “

– Dhruv Rebba, Founder of Universal Help

 

 

 

Dhruv’s Story

 

About Universal Help :

Universal Help is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people all around the world in innovative ways.

The idea for Universal Help came when Dhruv Rebba, founder of Universal Help, visited his dad’s home village in India. Many people in that village were below the poverty line, and many basic needs were not being met. Universal Help was started in December of 2018 in order to improve the quality of life for people globally in innovative ways. Since then Universal Help started projects both in India and the United States – from digitizing and giving textbooks to schools in rural India, to revitalizing an iconic Midwestern mall, Universal Help has pushed the boundaries of what is possible through innovative philanthropy.

Universal Help Projects

 Covid Isolation Center

  • UHF started Covid-19 30 bed Isolation center at Hyderabad. Provided oxygen concentrators, medical kits, BP kits, blood glucose meters, and free breakfast, lunch and dinner, amongst other crucial items.
  • UHF has distributed food (one month groceries) twice to 250 families in India during the 1st & 2nd wave of Covid.
  • Distributed groceries and other essential goods for a month in mentally retardant people of Shantiniketan, Hyderabad.

Food and Grocery Distribution during Covid

Universal Help distributed two months groceries) twice to poor purohit (priest) families of Kopparu village in Pedanandipadu mandal in Guntur district Andhra Pradesh in India and 10 grocery kits to purohits of Bolarum, Hyderabad during the 2nd wave of lockdown.  We also distributed groceries and other essential goods for a month to a mental health clinic in Shantiniketan, Hyderabad. Together Universal Help and GSSO, India distributed food (rice, wheat flour, sugar, cooking oil, cooking powders, vegetables, fruits etc.,) to 380 families in rural villages of India during the 1st and 2nd waves of Covid. We have also partnered with United Way to raise funds to provide food during the lockdown to provide food to families in need in McLean County, Bloomington IL.

Local Recycling

Creating Healthy Environment and Promoting Sustainability

In Bloomington, Illinois, recycling has been an issue that has been disregarded in terms of the local parks. Because many parks lack convenient recycling facilities, Universal Help is collaborating with the City of Bloomington to improve recycling access in parks. Starting in Miller Park, we are working to plan and solve logistical problems by implementing a durable bin system. These bins will be easy to maintain and strong enough to endure weather conditions.

International Disaster Relief 

Emergency Relief during Cyclone YAAS

Cyclone YAAS was a powerful storm that heavily impacted West Bengal. During this time, Universal Help provided emergency funds for the West Bengal Radio Club. The cyclone disrupted cell communication and decimated existing emergency HAM Radio communications used during communication blackouts. When existing emergency equipment was flooded, Universal Help provided immediate funding to the state’s Radio Club. Universal Help also supplied equipment to help emergency responders find injured people in West Bengal and save lives during the cyclone. 

UHelp donated the below equipment to West Bengal Radio Club during YAAS floods:

VHF 80 Watt single band base/mobile Yeasu FT-29

Diamond antenna CP-22E

SMPS Power Supply Unit Cum Charger 12V, 15 Amps (Float & Boost) Model BM-101B (Indigenous).

Digitization for Schools

Providing Educational Resources, Women Empowerment in Rural India

Many regions in India do not have the accessible resources to provide the best education possible to the children. Universal Help digitized Kasturba Gandhi Girls High School at a remote village, by providing resources such as a projector, computers, an uninterruptible power supply, and speakers. Paired with the computers, we provided online resources from “Cambridge University Press Material”. We were able to help 220 students, and we hope to continue to digitize other districts in the future.

Providing Notebooks and other School Supplies

Since 2018, not only have we distributed textbooks but also notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, sharpeners, and slates to 19 different government elementary and high schools in NP Kunta Mandal, Anantapur, in partnership with GSSO India. Over 2000 students have benefited since 2017 by helping four high schools and 15 elementary schools. Since 2018, physics textbooks in both English and Telugu have also been provided to 200 10th-grade students every year. As we supply schools on an annual basis, we hope to extend this to other schools across India.

Mall Revitalization

In Bloomington, Illinois, Eastland Mall has been experiencing low traffic and attention for the past several years. The enormous space is deserted, and all of the available real estate is being wasted. Repurposing the abandon store spaces would allow other organizations or companies to utilize the space for meetings or events. The pandemic has caused a lot of stores in Eastland Mall to shut down which is why Universal Help is attempting to solve this issue by presenting new ideas for making better use of the area and reintroducing traffic to Eastland Mall.

More Volunteering

Generation Connect Club – Founder Member

Connecting with Senior Residents

Founder member for a new club called Generation Connect started at NCHS, the purpose of which is to connect with senior residents at The Villas of Holly Brook, Normal IL and provide for positive social interactions with the students! As the name itself suggests, it connects the generations and helps the seniors stay happy. Monthly visits, playing games, making crafts, holiday cards and movie nights are some of the activities.

Illinois 4-H Hunger Ambassadors Summit 2018

Citizenship Award – Hunger Awareness Program – Youth Leader – Food Packaging Event

Attended a 3-day Hunger Ambassadors Summit, and addressed food insecurities, food deserts, and food access in the community, such as, hunger, lack of transportation to stores, cost of healthy food options, food portions and waste, and the lack of media attention, at the Illinois 4-H Hunger Ambassador Summit. 

This Awareness program has earned the Citizenship Award for the 12 state North Central region of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

Youth Leader for McLean County Hunger Ambassadors, a team dedicated to combatting hunger in McLean County. The McLean County Hunger Ambassadors initiated and held a Food Packaging Event where 12,480 meals were packaged in just one hour!

Rescuing Using Ham Radio

We Care Twin Cities Marathon Race’

Dhruv was instrumental in getting immediate assistance to a runner with a medical emergency while participating at net control (Control Room).  Dhruv has been volunteering for ‘We Care Twin Cities Marathon Race’ providing services for McLean County since 2015.

‘HOP on for HOPE Bike Ride/Walk’

Came to the rescue twice with the use of Ham Radio during his volunteering. He has been volunteering since 2015, for HOP on for HOPE Bike Ride/Walk — LeRoy, IL. (10 miles, 25 miles, 35 miles, 50 miles, and 2-mile family walk/ride).

  • Rescued a biker who was at a remote spot and whose battery was dying, by giving him a new hand set before he lost contact to Net Control. 
  • Rescued an elder woman who was not able to ride the bike at 35th mile. He informed immediately to net control and took care to see she was taken to the event starting point in Van with her bike for medical assistance.

Public Library Project – ‘Spread the Word’

‘Door to Door Campaign’ Bloomington IL

Visited West Bloomington (Miller Park Area) to spread awareness among the residents about the importance of library. Dhruv was a part of team where the team carried large signs, a walking kit consisting of a backpack with supplies to show the residents, bag with leave behind literature and knocking on the doors of the residents and saying “I am here as your neighbor. Let me tell you about our library.” This is a very powerful opportunity to let the community know the importance of books and education. This event was conducted as scheduled, even though the weather least supported, on a snowy day. This event was conducted through MCLP (Multicultural Leadership Program).

Youth Lead Volunteer for ‘Food Drive’ since 2014

Dhruv has been participating in ‘Diwali Food Drive’ since 2014 every year, honoring the Diwali festival, the festival of lights, with a month long food drive, through ’SEWA International’.  He started this alone in his neighborhood, and, later that year, led a group of youth involved in the food drive. The volunteers go door to door to drop the pamphlets specifying the food collection dates and times. Canned foods, non-perishable food, baby products and other essential household supplies are collected. The collected food is distributed to local Charities-YWCA, Baby Fold, Children’s Home, Labyrinth Outreach, Unity Community Center.

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