Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year, New Clothes!!

While volunteering with the Aashray Care Home, I participated in many projects to help the kids and the organization as a whole.  The biggest project I initiated was Project New Clothes for all the kids in the care home. This idea came about when Sushila, the administrator of the care home, mentioned how if there wasn’t so much going on (i.e. caring for the kids + her son with leukemia), she would have liked to raise funds to buy each child new clothes. In Rajasthan, there’s this tradition where upon entering the new year, one should wear new clothes to ensure good luck for the new year.

Once Sushila told me her concerns, my mind started racing because I thought—wouldn’t that be nice. Behind Sushila’s back, I started an online fundraiser to help raise money to buy new clothes for the kids to wear for the New Year. Myself and the other volunteer with me, Monique, reached out to as many family, friends, and local organizations to help. This whole time, Sushila had no idea. In a matter of 4 days, we raised about 23, 000 Rupees (about 450 USD). These funds afforded a new top, bottom, and a few accessories for each child and the care home staff (women also infected with HIV). This was the highlight of the New Year for me!!
The fun part of this project was Sushila’s reaction and when I had each child tell me (via Sunil because he knew the most English) what they wanted for clothes. Since raising the money, I thought it made sense to let each child decide what they wanted for clothes. 

Look at all those clothes!!
Monique [left], Sushila [right], and I carrying all the items we bought for the kids

Maya was my favorite--she was so excited, she folded her clothes..so sweet!!
Look at the grin on her face as she folds her clothes

All the kids and the wonderful staff in their new year attire!!

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