Saturday, March 14, 2009

Creative fundraising

Recently, an Operation Shanti friend told us about her effort to do some fundraising for us in today's tough economic environment. We found her idea creative and personal to her, and wanted to share it with you.

From Jules:

I learned of Operation Shanti when I was in Mysore this past year. And held on to a desire to be connected to the mission.

In NY, I teach several forms or yoga at a beautiful studio called The Yoga Room ( Prenatal yoga among them. For some time, I've been trying to encourage my Prenatal Yoga students to develop a simple home practice in the form of a simple sequence called cat/cow, which is very beneficial for most pregnant women. But I had little impact in effecting this.

Then, two weeks ago I conceived of this plan: I committed a dollar to Operation Shanti for each time a pregnant woman in my class practiced cat/cow in between the times I saw them. I told them of the mission of Operation Shanti -- and how far a dollar can go in clothing, feeding and educating a child in India. Well! We have had 42 'instances' of cat/cow home practice in a little over two weeks! When I hit 50 instances ($50 dollars) I'll go contribute thru your website. I expect that will be this weekend.

I'm thrilled with the success of this new program, and plan to seek corporate sponsorship so I might continue it. If any of your staff has connections with anyone at magazines such as Fit Pregnancy or (dreaming big) a contact at Oprah's O magazine or the like, an intro would be stellar and mutually beneficial! I'll be reaching out to a broad network seeking just such introductions as well.

If anyone there would like to discuss this program with me, I would be happy to hear from you.

Thank you for the inspiration and all you are doing.

Peace & joy - Jules

She's starting small, thinking big, and being persistent. And we get "personalized" support like this in both big and small ways. Recently, Kendra and Ryan arrived from San Francisco to volunteer at Karunya Mane. While in San Francisco, they took the initiative to hold a fundraiser and collected art supplies, kids' clothing, and other useful items for our kids at Karunya Mane. Every little bit counts, and our kids and moms really appreciate any effort that you make--especially when it is related to something personal to you.

And by the way, the cat/cow $50 translates into about 2400 rupees, enough to feed our kids three healthy meals for three whole days. Or, it can be used to provide protein powder to an anorexic and destitute street woman for eight months.