Town Holds ‘Cash Mob’ To Benefit Beloved Store Owner Fallen On Hard Times (VIDEO)

The people of Levittown, New York love local shopkeeper Avi Gandhi and he loves the people of Levittown. Avi is 63 years-old and originally from India. He opened ‘Center Lane Stationary’ in Levittown ten years ago. Avi is an abundantly friendly man who knows his customers by name and makes them feel very special.

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.”

Unfortunately, Avi’s business is in trouble. He told ABC News,

“The economy is hurting me. I don’t know what is going to happen. It is that bad. Business has gone down 75 percent in the last five years.”

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.

ABC News filed the following report,

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The short documentary, “Cash Mob For Avi”, brings this very touching story to life,