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Cash Mob for Avi

Leslie Brown

A community is defined by its shops; the small, unique “mom and pop” stores, not “big box” franchises. Those small store are defined by the store owners; and Levittown, Pennsylvania has a special couple defining one of theirs.

Avi Ghandi and his wife are originally from India. They chose to make Levittown, New Yourtheir town and as they have, they have made countless people feel loved and special.

When Ghandi’s store fell on hard times, the community came together through social media to try to give him a boost in sales and to let he and and his wife know how special they are to them.

Friend and loyal customer, Craig Dennis, explains what he loves about Avi,

“He knows everybody, he knows who’s sick in the hospital he knows when somebody’s graduation is coming up. Small businesses like Avi’s bring community to the community.”

Craig’s wife, Celeste Hamilton Dennis, speaks fondly of Gandhi as well,

“He just makes people feel that they matter.”

Avi works 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. He’s never taken a day off. His sales are now so low he can barely pay his rent. Avi’s wife battled cancer last year as well. Times are very tough for the Gandhi family and Avi fears he may have to close the store.

Avi’s friends and loyal customers, Craig and Celeste, decided they could not sit back and watch their friend suffer any longer. They came up with the idea to launch a ‘Cash Mob’ to help save Avi’s store from bankruptcy. Craig says he come up with the idea spontaneously,

“I just said it, I was like ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we got all these people to come here, to come and clear the shelves?’”

The ‘Cash Mob’ was a huge success and a complete surprise to Avi. The humble shopkeeper couldn’t believe all of the wonderful support from his friends. He said of the ‘Cash Mob’:

“The last few years, [I] never seen more than three or four persons in my store. I said, ‘This is something not right.’ … The people in Levittown are so loving. They care for each other. They care for their neighbor. And they care for everybody. I felt that feeling so deep in my heart.”

The ‘Cash Mob’ was filmed and turned into a documentary titled “Cash Mob for Avi”. When the ‘Cash Mob’ wasn’t enough to pull Avi from the brink, the Dennis’ expanded their push to save Avi by setting up a Fundly page on his behalf.

Unfortunately, Avi says that his store is still not out of woods financially. Despite the Fundly donations and cash mob, saving Avi’s store is still a work in progress. If you would like to help, make a contribution through Fundly and share this story with your friends.(1)


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