West Bloomfield club hosts social media fundraiser

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published December 15, 2017

 The Eyes on Detroit fundraiser, organized by the Interact Club of West Bloomfield, encouraged people to post their photos of Detroit, such as this one, along with the hashtag #EyesOn Detroit2017.

The Eyes on Detroit fundraiser, organized by the Interact Club of West Bloomfield, encouraged people to post their photos of Detroit, such as this one, along with the hashtag #EyesOn Detroit2017.

Photo provided by the Interact Club

 The Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit is pictured in this photo that was entered into the Eyes on Detroit fundraiser.

The Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit is pictured in this photo that was entered into the Eyes on Detroit fundraiser.

Photo provided by the Interact Club

WEST BLOOMFIELD — One West Bloomfield teen has organized a fundraising event for an organization he has volunteered with for six years.  

Rishabh Parekh, president of the Interact Club, a community-based volunteer organization, has worked extensively with the Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired. 

“Since I was in sixth grade, I’ve been volunteering at the organization as a summer counselor,” said Parekh. “There’s a lot of blind and visually impaired (people) in metro Detroit that came to the summer camp.”

Parekh, a senior at West Bloomfield High School, said that he wanted to give back to the organization before he went to college. 

He, along with the members of the Interact Club — the faction of the Rotary Club for kids in middle and high school — organized #EyesOnDetroit, a social media-fueled fundraiser for the nonprofit.

“I wanted to really give back to the agency in one big event,” said Parekh. “In our community, people with visual impairments can’t use social media or see artwork, but they’re still really curious and really creative. We wanted to raise awareness on that.” 

The fundraiser encouraged people in metro Detroit to take and share their favorite photos of the Motor City, then post them to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #EyesOnDetroit2017 to enter the photo into a showcase.

The Interact Club then took those photos, printed them and put them on display at the Orchard Mall, 6337 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield, Dec. 16 and raffled off the photos. All proceeds from the fundraiser went to the nonprofit. 

If people wanted to get involved but not use social media, they could make a monetary donation.

“(The Interact Club) makes it a point to do the United We Walk; they do goodie bags for Blessings in a Backpack; they have done an international project of raising money for a school in India,” said Vinita Parekh, Interact coordinator with the West Bloomfield Rotary Club and Rishabh Parekh’s mother. “It’s all about giving back. They live by the Rotary mission ‘service above self.’”

There are currently about 20 people involved in the Interact Club. Any child in middle or high school in the West Bloomfield area can join the Interact Club. 

For more information about the Interact Club, visit the club’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/InteractClubWB.