I have been volunteering for Udavum Karangal in the Bay Area for 5 years. I knew the organization from India and was happy to have an opportunity to help an Indian grass roots organization. The experience over the last 5 years has been rewarding. Our annual fund raiser Galaata has been a very successful event and a strong rallying point for volunteers. The organization needs to reach out to a broader base of potential supporters, both individuals and foundations
I started to participate in the Fund-Raiser cultural event in the San Francisco Bay area and it begun to take different forms and shapes. Now, I am an active Volunteer in the Udavum Karangal "Helping Hands" Bay Area chapter. I volunteer every year for any fund-raiser event that is planned by the SF Bay area Chapter of Udavum Karangal.
This is a grass roots level organization and you can actually visually see the impact when you are in Chennai or Coimbatore. The kids are so happy and cheerful. The place is very clean and the food they serve is healthy. The gang here in the bay area is a very fun gang and lots of social opportunities. Its more fun and friends than volunteering. So that's why I like the org.
How many of us take the time to think about someone else at least for a few minutes each day? Probably one or two of us have that time even. But what I have realized after being a volunteer at Udavum Karangal SF Bay Area Chapter for over 6 years now is, there are many who think of someone else who really needs help every single day. I'm proud that I have found that group and been part of it for so long. Whether it is the children, adults or seniors at Udavum Karangal in Chennai, India, the motto is clearly 'service, care and concern' for one and all. We may very well never live to see a perfect world during our time, but being part of an organization like Udavum Karangal, can make you realize that that dream is possible. There is a lot of sharing, pride and cooperation amongst us volunteers and the overall willingness to go the extra mile for an underprivileged child to get food, education, clothing and hope for the future. I thank God that we, volunteers, have been brought together and that he has kept us financially well enough to think of others in every which way we can. I walk away about every event we organize thinking, 'life is a very simple thing to live, if only we had so many people to help us live it constructively and happily in every moment that we have.' Thank you Udavum Karangal for giving me that hope and that belief to this day! :)
Its easy to leave the world's problems to be fixed by tree-huggers, governments and non profits. But its not until you join a non profit like Udavum karangal that you realize you are SO close to changing the life of a child. You can chose to volunteer, or sponsor a child in as low as $10 a month. The organization is run by people passionate about the cause, who have visited the orphanages in India, are straightforward about the progress they have made and communicate the needs on the ground to fundraising arms such as the Bay Area Chapter. I continue to work for the children of UK, and I urge you to join us at our next event at www.ukwalk.org !
I will have to admit my motives, when I first volunteered for UKSF, were purely selfish! As someone new to the bay area I was looking for avenues to meet people- so when someone mentioned they needed a person for a fashion show – I eagerly agreed. On my first day of 'rehearsal' I was surprised to find, behind closed doors on the quiet streets of Saratoga, different groups of people – singing , dancing and walking to different Indian songs. Although, I didn't know anyone there I found the group to be very friendly and welcoming – in fact, so much so that I volunteered to be in another walk. Sparing the details of a very fun filled enjoyable journey – I will tell you that being a volunteer for Udavum Karangal SF is above everything- FUN! But let it not be said that Udavum Karangal SF never fails to forgot or remind its volunteers, that the motivation for the fun is to help a very serious cause. Through its various events and volunteers, UKSF has assisted with the sponsorship of numerous children and projects – including the purchase of a vehicle, computers and medical equipment. Being able to be a part of an organization that helps those in need in a way that is enjoyable – made me sign up year 2!! For those of you thinking about volunteering for a charity, wanting to meet new people or even if you just simply want to be part of a fantastic stage production – UKSF is a great place to meet fun people, be creative, and last, but not least, help those who most definitely need your help. I'm very glad I got 'roped' in 3 years ago - UKSF has helped me meet a lot of wonderful people and allowed me to contribute to a great cause!