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Giving Day - November 10 - Friends of Seva Mandir

Dear Customers,

Thank you again for another successful GIVING DAY.

This past month I traveled to India and got an opportunity to visit some villages and see how difficult life is for people in the third world countries. Even though I was born in India, I grew up in a privileged household and never felt deprived. In the villages I visited, little kids travel miles to reach the nearest school, mothers walk miles to get drinking water and fathers travel long distances to find livelihood. The roof on their head leaks when it rains and they barely know what three meals a day feels like. What we take for granted here, is a luxury for more than 70% of the country. ‘Of the 300 million households surveyed, an overwhelming majority (73%) live in villages. Of this rural population, less than 5% earn enough to pay taxes, only 2.5% own a 4-wheeler vehicle and less than 10% have salaried jobs. Not only does rural India have miserable statistics on income and asset ownership, its literacy rates are low. Only 3.5% of students graduate and around 35.7% of residents can’t read or write.’ India - Census 2015 CNN.com

So, this month we pick Friends of Seva Mandir, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Edison, New Jersey. They support education of rural and tribal children, early child care and development, health and vaccination, environment conservation, women’s empowerment and building stronger communities in underdeveloped areas of India. Their main grant receiver Seva Mandir, Udaipur is an NGO that works with hundreds of villages in need and runs several different programs. I was lucky enough to see the work they do and visit some of the schools that they run. For 50 years they have been tirelessly working in 600 villages, improving lives of the people day by day. The world needs many Seva Mandirs - we salute their efforts and hope to touch lives of the little children of India through them.

So please join me on November 10th to support the children of India through Friends of Seva Mandir. Shop more to give more.

Thank you for being our partner and believing in us.

Naheed Quaisar
Co-Founder and CEO

World Map

Help us spread the word

Please help us get the word out. Together, we can help ‘Friends of Seva Mandir, to organize and operate exclusively for charitable purposes, supporting education of rural and tribal children, early child care and development, health, environment conservation, women’s empowerment and building stronger communities in underdeveloped areas of India. Their activities include making grants to Seva Mandir, a much respected Indian voluntary organization working in South Rajasthan, India. It is currently working in over 600 villages and reaching over 70,000 households. It works to strengthen individual and collective capabilities of people and their communities such that they are able to achieve their own well-being. It takes the contributions of many of us to make these programs possible

Ways to share...

Friends of Seva Mandir INC.


Friends of Seva Mandir, Inc. (FSM) is a 501(C)(3) public charity based in Edison, New Jersey. It is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes, supporting education of rural and tribal children, early child care and development, health, environment conservation, women’s empowerment and building stronger communities in underdeveloped areas of India. We have been registered as a charity since July 27, 2009.

Our activities include making grants to Seva Mandir, a much respected Indian voluntary organization working in South Rajasthan, India. Seva Mandir was founded in 1968 and is currently working in over 600 villages and reaching over 70,000 households. It works to strengthen individual and collective capabilities of people and their communities such that they are able to achieve their own well-being. Please read more about Seva Mandir at www.sevamandir.org.The Executive Board of Friends of Seva Mandir is committed to the Gandhian principles of constructive development and supports various programs at Seva Mandir.

Programs Supported by FSM

Shiksha Kendra’s

These are rural schools for 6-14 year olds, supported by Seva Mandir. They address the educational needs of the children who are otherwise employed in economic and/or social opportunities to support their families.

The program also helps build awareness of quality education within the community with the intent of creating new standards for quality education in government schools and teachers. Children who graduate from rural schools have remained in school longer than their peers and have academically performed better than their peers.

Shiksha Kendras
Residential Learning Camps

Residential Learning Camps

These are seasonal schools/camps (each of 50-55 day’s duration) that allow children (6-14 years old), deprived of regular schooling opportunities, to learn basic reading and writing skills. These children are out of school for many reasons, but most notably for their responsibilities at home which include looking after younger siblings, taking cattle for grazing, working in the fields or even migrating for seasonal labor. Some are children who are orphans or have dropped out from regular schools in the past because of bad experiences.

Three seasonal residential camps are conducted every year. The two main subjects taught are language (Hindi) and mathematics. Each child is required to attend three full camps and is thereafter encouraged to join mainstream schools.

Domestic Violence Shelters

This program includes a Short-stay Home for women who are victims of domestic abuse and other gender based violence. The Home provides a safe place for a period of up to 3 years and in this time the women are provided psychological support, recreational activities, along with skill-building opportunities. Efforts are also made to negotiate with their families. This program is run in collaboration with the Central Social Welfare Board under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Domestic Violence Shelters
Balwadis

Balwadis

Balwadis (rural preschools) are full-day child-care centers that provide young children (105 years old) with a safe and secure enviroment and a joyful learning experience. To combat the high level of malnourishment (62.8% underweight and 75% anemic children) nutritious supplemental meals are provided 2 times each day. Balwadis reduce the burden on care-givers (usually mothers and older femal siblings), enabling them to work or attent school.

Solar Fans in Balwadis

224 Blwadi’s (child-care centers) service over 5000 children - they provide them a safe place to stay while their parents go to work. But most importantly, they provide educaton, supplementay nutrition and foster a sense of confidence and hope. The centers are often run in homes that are rented or donated by the community. Most villages do not have electricity and the small homes may not be well-lit.

In an effort to make these centers more comfortable, (tempperatures in the summer reach 110 degress Fahrenheit) Seva Mandir helped install solar lighting system that supports a bulb and a fan during Balwadi hours (7 hours) in two villages as an experiment. The response from children is encouraging and we are seeking support to extend the solar fan installations to 50 more Balwadis.

Solar Fans in Balwadis
Helena Food Share

Massachusetts Task Force 1 ( MA-TF 1) Urban Search and Rescue Team (US&R) is located in Beverly, Massachusetts. Urban Search and Rescue teams are comprised of Police, Fire, EMS and Civilians (62 total people when deployed) and respond to major disasters under a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Currently there are 150 people on the MA-TF 1 team.

Sponsored by the City of Beverly, Massachusetts, MA-TF 1 maintains the heritage established by the Lexington Minutemen at the onset of the American Revolution: the spirit of cooperation and volunteerism that sustains the vitality of a democratic society as well as the infrastructure of emergency response. As Hurricane Sandy turned into Superstorm Sandy, MA-TF 1 was activated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to stand at the ready as a state asset.

http://www.helenafoodshare.org/
Helena Food Share

Since 1987, Helena Food Share has been providing food to our neighbors in need. At Helena Food Share, it is our mission to serve our neighbors in need by providing food in a respectful and dignified way and by working with others to eliminate hunger in the greater Helena area. Our vision, simply, is to create a hunger-free community. We know that 1 in 7 residents of Helena struggles with hunger. 1 in 5 Helena children don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Families come to the Helena Food Share pantry because they are facing difficult times.
These folks need help while they experience difficulty paying medical bills, struggling with a disability, finding their way through a layoff, or they’re simply doing their best to make ends meet with a low or fixed income. No matter the situation, we are dedicated to serving our customers with dignity and respect.

http://www.helenafoodshare.org/
Covenant House

In 1995, Karen Shirk was told she was too disabled to receive a service dog. She decided to make sure no one else ever had to hear those words.

4 Paws for Ability is the embodiment of Karen’s vision - a nonprofit organization that breeds, socializes, trains, and places service dogs with children and veterans. Since its inception in 1998, 4 Paws has paired over 1,100 trained service dogs to people living with a variety of disabilities. With a team of 75 employees and over 600 volunteers, 4 Paws now places over 100 dogs per year. 4 Paws dogs (and the humans they love and serve) can be found in almost all 50 statesas well as Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Dogs trained through 4 Paws meet the criteria for ‘service animals’ as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

http://4pawsforability.org/
Covenant House

Covenant House New Orleans was founded on the edge of the French Quarter 30 years ago to provide a safe haven for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth (ages 22 and under). We have provided over 20,000 kids with food, shelter, clothing, medical care, educational and vocational support, individual and family counseling, job readiness and placement, short & long-term housing, life skills, and more.

The vast majority of our youth have endured physical and/or sexual abuse and have also experienced the violence of the streets. Our counselors estimate 85% suffer from some form of traumatic stress disorder. Tulane’s Cowen Institute estimates there are 26,000 at-risk youth in our community. Our first priority is always to reunite our youth with healthy, functional family. For the majority of our kids for whom family is not an option, we give them an educational & vocational assessment and help them find a job that suits their skills.

http://www.covenanthouseno.org
Soldiers Angel

Soldiers’ Angels provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families and a growing veteran population. Soldiers’ Angels was established in 2003 by the mother of a son who was deployed to Iraq. She began sending care packages to her son and was then asked to not only send more care packages to many more deployed but to also assist with other needs. September 11th was a catalyst that inspired Americans to support the military and help out any way they could. Soldiers’ Angels was created as an opportunity for them to provide that support with care packages, hand-sewn blankets, letters, cards, and other items from ‘home’.

In just 14 years, since this small beginning of sending care packages, Soldiers’ Angels has grown to over 12 Programs with over 100,000 volunteers nationwide. Most of the programs and services offered by Soldiers’ Angels are performed by volunteers who work tirelessly supporting our nation’s veterans, wounded warriors, deployed service members and their families.

http://www.soldiersangels.org
Asha for Education

On May 12th, HPFY donated 10% of the day’s sales to ‘Asha for Education’. Asha for Education took roots in 1991 when a group of students including Deepak Gupta, Sandeep Pandey, and VJP Srivatsavoy from the University of Berkeley, CA got together and discussed ways to bring about a socio-economic change in India. The group was formed with a belief that education is a requisite to bring about the much needed socio economic change in India. It was named ‘Asha’, meaning ‘hope’. Since then, Asha for Education has grown via its chapters, and today has more than 65 chapters worldwide.

Asha for Education is a 501(c)(3) organization in the US. Each year, our work touches the lives of several thousands of children across a few hundreds of projects. We have no offices, and 100% of our efforts are driven by unpaid volunteers. All donations are tax deductible, and we have earned a reputation for sending >98% of donations to our projects.

http://www.ashanet.org
Doug Fluite, Jr. Foundation for Autism

On April 14th, HPFY donated 10% of the day’s sales to ‘Doug Fluite, Jr. Foundation for Autism’. The Flutie Foundation awards grants to individuals and families dealing with the challenges of autism.

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc. was established in 1998 by former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and his wife, Laurie, in honor of their son, Doug, Jr. who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Through their General Grants, Joeys Fund, Allison Keller Technology fund and other programs and initiatives, The Flutie Foundation awards grants to individuals and families dealing with the challenges of autism as well as to the organizations that support them. The grants that they provide give individuals with autism access to much needed educational and other support services, autism specific active lifestyles programs and assistance with transitioning to adult independence. In addition The Flutie Foundation, through their grant programs, awards grants to nonprofit organizations that provide direct services such as family support, education, advocacy and recreational opportunities for individuals with autism.

http://www.flutiefoundation.org
Womens Center of Danbury

On March 10th, two days after International Women’s day, HPFY donated 10% of the day’s sales to Women’s of Danbury. Since 1975, the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury has been a safe haven as the sole provider of services to victims of domestic and sexual violence in the Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield County areas. Each year the Center serves over 25,000 individuals from our area communities. Our FREE and confidential services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Center’s key areas of focus include emergency shelter and support services, counseling and advocacy, crisis intervention, and community education, primary prevention and training.

All funds provided to the Center support our critically needed domestic violence, sexual assault, and resource services for adults and children in our 13-town service area, including: Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Roxbury, Sherman and Washington.

http://www.wcogd.org

UPCOMING GIVING DAYS

September 15, Helena Food Share
October 13, Upcoming Giving Day
November 10, Upcoming Giving Day