Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fundraiser for The Pratyasha Foundation via Stella & Dot

Hi guys! Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that my friend Kristin runs a charity organization that is very near and dear to my heart- The Pratyasha Foundation. I've previously posted about them (see the posts here: 1, 2, 3) and I can't say enough things about Kristin or the work she is doing.  So when my friend Maeghan contacted me about doing a fundraiser for Pratyasha with the company she works for, Stella & Dot, I was super excited.

 image credit to Operation Smile-Peter Stuckings

First, here's a little blurb about The Pratyasha Foundation from Kristin, then read below on how to be a part of the fundraiser!

"I will never forget the first time I decided to make, package and distribute a Sunday meal to the children on the streets in the Indian city of Guwahati that I live in. It was October 2011 and I had no idea that this simple act would literally take me to a slum in an area known as Lakhtokia and change the course of my life. There were children living with their families in makeshift homes all along the rail road tracks and they were so grateful for those unexpected meals. In that first day I felt like my eyes finally truly opened to the level of poverty surrounding me. Fast forward to June 2013 and every single day I feel like I am seeing more and more.

Over this time period these simple meals grew into what is now called Pratyasha (Praat-e-asha) Foundation, and our mission is simple: we reach into the slums and break the cycle of poverty by creating foundational trusting relationships, which, through love, empower those we serve to improve their own lives.

Our Sunday "picnics" are the basis of our relationship with the children and their families; we cook in our home and then serve the meals directly in the slum to around 80 children. The amazing friendship and trust that came from serving these meals every single week has allowed us to dream big. We believe in the importance of simple acts of service such as passing a meal, cleaning a wound and educating on hygiene and health care but over time the question became: how do you truly empower these children to break themselves out of the cycle that living in a slum creates? The only answer is education.


  image credit to Operation Smile-Peter Stuckings

A few months ago we started bringing a small group of girls to an afternoon school program for marginalized children; even there our girls were not welcomed with the open arms we had hoped for. A lot of persistence and love kept the girls going and they did so well that two of them are now in full-time day school. We dream big, yes, but we always start small and we could not be more proud of our girls and their parents' commitment to education. But what about the others? Do you want to know what we really envision? We believe that some day soon we will walk through the slum in the middle of day and no school-age children will be found. None of our children will be working. Every single one of the kids in the slum will be in school, every single one will be receiving the basic rights that all children should have.

It is going to start with a community outreach center opening in early 2014 where school preparation, Sunday meals, a health clinic and vocational training can all take place. We believe that all of these dreams will come true because the change we have already seen is so real. The love that is shared between the kids, the families, ourselves and people around the world is so strong that I can't help but believe that in my lifetime we will witness a total transformation of this community.

I will never forget that first Sunday in October 2011, not knowing what I was doing or what would come of it, not knowing that others like Dani and Maeg and the co-founders of Pratyasha would want to support it in whatever way possible. Not knowing that the railway slum of Lakhtokia and its beautiful children would take hold of our hearts and show us that from the smallest acts, the biggest love can grow."

  image credit to Operation Smile-Peter Stuckings

Kristin also wanted me to give you guys a little more info: the Sunday meals cost around 10-12 US dollars for the 80 kids. The foundation is not sure (because it's not running yet) how much the community center will cost but they project it to be around $200-300 USD/month to run for the weekly meals, health clinic and various programs. They still do everything completely through volunteer work, and all of the programs are free for the kids. The Pratyasha Foundation is a registered non-profit corporation in California as of May 2013, and the 501(c)(3) application is in process with the IRS, so FYI, they are not tax-exempt yet.

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With ALL of that said, here's where we can help.

Maeghan has set up a special Stella and Dot sale site/trunk show where HALF of the proceeds will go to Pratyasha. Every purchase made through the sale contributes and every purchase over $40 is entered to win a Stella & Dot prize valued at $75+. And hello, have you seen Stella & Dot's new summer stuff? SO cute. It feels a little weird including a video like this alongside these photos, but I do want you guys to see what great stuff you can get and help out Pratyasha. So, odd juxtaposition, but it's a must.


This "trunk show" will be running for two weeks, and will close on Monday, July 15th. Once you make your purchase, leave a comment here and let me know what you picked out! And also be sure to like Maeghan's Stella & Dot page, and of course follow along with The Pratyasha Foundation's Facebook page and Kristin's blog.

If you'd like to share about the fundraiser via Twitter, or any other social media site that would be awesome too!

Here's a tweet for easy copying and pasting:

I'm contributing to The Pratyasha Foundation via  and Stella & Dot. 1/2 of all proceeds go to charity.



 second image credit to Operation Smile-Peter Stuckings

Happy shopping and thank you for supporting such a great organization!

xoxo


4 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful organization doing amazing things! I went on a medical/dental mission trip to El Salvador a few years back that was truly eye opening for me. There are so many that have so little- and it can be so easy to get caught up in our own day to day lives and overlook the struggles that others are facing. Wishing the best for Kristen and her mission. Thanks for sharing. xoxo Britney
    http://long-road-to-somewhere.blogspot.com/

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  2. Wow! I would love to do whatever I can to help such a beautiful organization. Thanks for sharing! x

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  3. Hi. I'm studying to be a nurse at University of Washington and should have passed my NCLEX exam by late 2014. I don't know if your friend will be looking for medical staff, but this is just the type of thing I dream of doing with my life. So I know its a bit down the road, but let me know if you would want to pass my information along so I can contact her about volunteering my time.
    feisty2222@yahoo.com

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  4. This is AMAZING!

    I'm definitely going to do a little online shopping. How long do we have?

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