Hometown Honoree: Purvi Padia

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“I was born in NYC and moved to the Lexington area when I was 5. My parents loved the big city but wanted to raise children in a place that felt more like home, and they couldn’t have chosen a better place than Lexington. No matter where I’ve gone and what I’ve done in life, those small town values that Lexington helped instill in me have always given me a perspective that I would never otherwise have. Going to Lexington HS and playing tennis for a team that I was so proud to be a part of has played a huge role in shaping the person that I have grown up to be. I am so grateful to that community for showing me the importance of community, kindness, inclusivity and the true power of cheering for one another.”


“I left Lexington in 1996 to go to college at the University of Michigan and then moved to NYC in 2000 where I still currently live. After 8 years in the corporate design industry, I went back to school to get my Masters in Interior Design and opened my design firm in 2009. I married my college sweetheart (in Ohio, of course!) in 2005. I now split my time between Interior Design, Project Lion (a UNICEF initiative I founded), sitting on multiple non profit boards, being a mother to my 11 year old son and 7 year old daughter and fueling my passion for travel. Thank you Big Lex for giving me a foundation that has always served me so well!”


Purvi enjoys her coffee with almond milk—yum!

Purvi Padia Chooses: UNICEF Project Lion



Saroo Brierley was just 5 the day he became separated from his brother at a railway station in India and ended up alone on a speeding train that took him 1,000 miles away from home. The saga of how he survived life on the streets and his eventual adoption by an Australian couple inspired the 2016 movie "Lion." It also called attention to the plight of India’s “forgotten” children — those forced to survive without parents or family.

Today, 1.5 million children are growing up in residential institutions in India. Often privately run and poorly regulated, these facilities can leave children extremely vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and neglect. To protect them and give them their fair chance at a better life, UNICEF USA launched Project Lion with a generous seed grant from Purvi and Harsh Padia.

Project Lion is a three-year program seeking to improve the lives of 200,000 of these children by:

  • Enforcing standards of care: Establishing a monitoring system in residential facilities to ensure children have access to proper education, adequate nutrition and health and protection services, targeting residences in Gujarat, Odisha, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

  • Strengthening the child protection workforce: UNICEF will provide training to social workers, caregivers, staff and management at child care institutions and other child protection actors to ensure that they have the knowledge, skills and expertise to provide quality support for children without family care.

  • Providing services for vulnerable families: Support services will be provided to vulnerable families across 50 districts to ensure that at-risk children are able to stay with their families. These include rehabilitative services for children who have been reunited with their families.

  • Modeling alternatives: To learn more about alternative child care experiences, including community-based care, UNICEF will develop a model in three states, document findings, and eventually expand successful models to benefit more children who are living without parental care.

This critical program ensures that the thousands of Indian children who’ve been left without family can grow up in loving, stable, nurturing and protective environments.

For the month of August in honor of our #everynickelcounts campaign a nickel of every sale will be directed to this incredible nonprofit project.

For more information or to make a donation please visit: https://www.unicefusa.org/mission/protect/project-lion