When it comes to donating items to charities, what items have the highest priority? For Ashwin Jecku, Dhruv Koikara and Krithik Vinothkumar— three 13-year-old friends living in the Renton Highlands — this question directly inspired them to create a website designed to help people donate the right items to local charities.
With this in mind, the boys created Tutum Hospitium, an accessible website platform that connects donors directly to verified charities in order to “maximize the effectiveness of donating supplies to charities using technology.”
“We noticed people are donating stuff but the charities don’t need it,” said Ashwin. “Charities end up with lots of stuff but not what they need.”
Since going live in March 2023, Tutum Hospitium — Latin for “safe shelter” — has added three charities on its site: Dream Vision Charity, The Voice of Planet and REACH Renton, according to Krithik.
The website is designed for charities to easily sign up and give their information to potential donors and for donors to easily give to the charity of their choosing.
“The FAQ is the best place to learn what to do when visiting the site,” said Dhruv.
For donors, all of the basic information for each charity is easily available, including the charity name, logo, email, phone number, website, contact name, a brief description of their organization and easy links to the charity’s Amazon Wish List, where donors get up-to-date information on what items need to be donated.
The boys have received positive feedback for their site, both from charities and from donors. Vasudha Sharma of Voice of Planet wrote: “The donations received in form of wish list items will be crucial for Voice of Planet projects to serve underprivileged in Renton and neighboring areas. The items were received directly.”
“We wanted to help the community,” said Ashwin, referring to why they decided to start their website. In an interview with The Renton Reporter, the boys said that helping charities is a passion of theirs.
“A lot of the time when you go to Seattle, you see homeless people and they would need a charity,” said Dhruv.
While most of the charities on the website are Renton-based, the boys hope that they can reach more charities in the area. The more people we have the more we can help, they said.
The boys currently live in Renton, where they met at school. “We all just kind of clicked and formed a friendship,” said Krithik.
The current goal for Tutum Hospitium is to double the amount of charities on the site by the end of the year and recently, Ashwin, Dhruv and Krithik gave a presentation on their website for the Renton Chamber of Commerce’s Renton Area NonProfits Unite (RANU). RANU works to bring together nonprofits, social organizations and businesses in Renton for collaboration, shared learning and shared resources.
The boys said they spent a week preparing for their RANU meeting and that it was a great opportunity to connect with the community and receive feedback on their website.
“We want to be able to work [on the website] for as long as we can,” said Dhruv.
For more information, to sign up a charity or to donate to a current charity, visit tutumhospitium.com.