FUNDRAISER NETS $ 44,000 FOR CHENNAI ORPHANAGE.
BY SAPNA SHAHANI INDIA WEST STAFF REPORTER.
"Making a difference,one child at a time" is the motto that inspired invitees to raise a record $ 44,000 at the third annual fundraiser of the children's Homeof Hope Sept.15.
This year's fundraiser netted double the donations of last year's , said the organization's founder Dr. Nilima Sabharwal.
Children's Home of Hope, a grass roots charity movement, sponsors destitute and orphaned children in India with a modern school. Hostel and hospital near Chennai.
Through a series of slide presentations, Sabharwal explained the vast development that has come about in the partnered foster care home since her organization's involvement began last year.
"We live in a goal-oriented society," Sabharwal said as she showed impressive before and after images of the new solid brick construction that used to be a smaller, dilapidated building.She explained how the out-break of various illnesses decreased after a dispensary and cleaner bathrooms were arranged.
The fundraiser was twice as successful as it was the previous year, yielding a net amount of $ 44,000 as opposed to last year's $ 22,000. Urging the audience to be generous with their support, Sabharwal said " I was amazed at the power of the dollar. It gets magnified 45 fold. We have brought the orphanage to a certain standard and it is imperative that we keep it up; otherwise, we will be doing a far greater disservice".
Attempting to convince the audience of the volunteers' honesty and integrity, Sabharwal said she knew that the facility was well attended to since some of the older orphans revisited the home and wanted to help. Displaying examples of these individuals, she added that they were now all highly exucated and some returned to teach the younger children in the orphanage.
Anil Lal co-founder of Home of Hope, announced a second project, Udyan Ghar, which they will now undertake in Delhi.
The three homes contained in that complex were set up in 1994 by Kiran Modi, who said, "These children need more than food, shelterand clothing. They need a home where their emotionalneeds are also fulfilled."
The evening went on to entertain, with a classical Indian dance by Sonia Sabharwal and Sheela Naidu, a dance to Hrithik Roshan's hit "Ek Pal ka jeena" by Richa Shukla, and live music by the Geetanjali band, whose members travelled from Southern California to contribute their services.
Although Sabharwal was elated at the fact that the overhead expenses for the fundraiser were only $ 2,000- since about 70 percent of the expenses were borne by sponsors - she said she hoped that one day the overhead would amount to zero.
Sabharwal also urged the audience to avail of the services of attorney David Miller, who has donated his fees for 25 revocable living trust deeds and Tina and Charley Haggarty, who will contribute a percentage of their real estate agency profits to the cause.
Sabharwal and Lal acknowledged their families for being supportive, since they worked behind the scenes to help the organization in different ways. Sabharwal's daughter Sonia has already asked guests of two of her birthday parties to donate gift money to the cause, and has raised $5,000 in that way.
For more information or to support Children's Home of Hope, please contact Nilima Sabharwal at (650) 574-0374 or send tax deductible donations to her in care of Children's Home of Hope, 190 Tobin Clark Drive Hillsborough, CA 94010.