Rogan Yadgard is a fourth-grader from the Upper West Side who, outside of school and games of basketball, finds time to make his city a better place.
"It makes me feel happy when I see other people happy," Rogan said.
Recently, he and his family volunteered with the Mott Haven Fridge Network, an organization which stocks refrigerators, that can be accessed by anyone in the neighborhood and distributes food to shelters and directly to families.
"I put myself in their shoes and I was like 'I want to do more to help this because I would feel terrible if I didn't have enough food to eat,'" Rogan said.
"He's extremely empathetic and since we finished volunteering he asked what can he do next," Rogan's mother, Rachel, said.
"We talked about it and before I knew it he was calling me to his room to look at something and he had built a whole website," Rogan's father, Daniel, said.
The website Rogan built is called The Rogan Project.
It highlights organizations doing good and his first goal is to help Mott Haven Fridge Network to buy a refrigerated truck.
Dan Zauderer started the program during the coronavirus pandemic.
He was teaching in the Bronx and saw so many of his students dealing with food insecurities, issues that Rogan learned about while volunteering.
"I think it was him interacting directly with the community," Zauderer said. "He's right next to community members who are then going to take the food to feed their own families. This is about neighbors helping neighbors."
So far, Rogan has raised $8,500, has a goal of reaching $10,000, and he isn't stopping there.
"I mostly focused on Mott Haven Fridge, but I have some other ideas like Ukraine and homelessness to help," Rogan said.
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