Drawing inspiration from one of his favourite TV programs, a South Surrey youngster-turned businessman has raised hundreds of dollars for BC SPCA.
Knowing that he wasn’t able to operate a lemonade stand this summer due to the pandemic, Shlok Parkhi, 5, launched “Photo Patrol,” a riff on the children’s TV series Paw Patrol.
Armed with an instant camera, Parkhi and his parents walked the community’s streets and parks searching for people with their pets. Shlok would approach the pet-owner and ask if they would be interested in being photographed for $5.
Starting in July, Shlok photographed more than 100 pet owners and collected $560. Of the money raised, Shlok donated $200 to the BCSPCA, invested $180 in stocks with the help of mom and dad, and used the remaining $200 to buy Lego.
Shlok’s mother Ketaki Parkhi and father Chaitanya described the project as a way to keep her son busy during COVID-19 restrictions.
“There’s was not much to do because they can’t meet with their friends or have sleepovers or play dates,” Ketaki said. “So we thought this would be a better idea to keep him occupied, at least for a couple hours.”
The South Meridian Elementary student is a frequently flyer at the school playground at about 7 p.m., as that seems to be a popular time for dog owners to get together.
“They have a little play-date, doggy play-dates. So it was fun to see all of them there. As well as we went to Whistler just for vacationing for a couple of days, we took the camera there as well and people loved it.”
Parkhi said another beneficial aspect of the project is that her son spends five to 10 minutes speaking with the customers while the picture develops.
“It’s been amazing, the experiences. At times, people said no – of course – that they didn’t want to take a picture. But that didn’t deter him, that was another lesson. It’s been a learning curve for him, as well. He is a little bit of… I wouldn’t say shy, but he doesn’t open up quickly. So it’s been really helpful to get him going and talk to people.”
Photos from Shlok’s adventures can be found at instagram.com/photo_patrol