August 2016 – Newsletter
Written by: Rhea Dash, Volunteer & Staff Writer
Hope everyone had a fantastic summer. We at E&E hope that everyone is settling into school and work comfortably, and that you all continue to find a few moments in your hectic schedule to devote to giving back to the community!
Stocking, unloading, and delivering for Lunches of Love
Our Texas Youth Chapter has been hard at work helping Lunches of Love!
Team found 155 regular-size cereal boxes at great deals and donated to LoL! Volunteers helped to unload about 100 food cartons and assemble 10 aisles, with everyone pitching in, even the little ones! They keep everyone inspired by their energy! They also helped deliver 135 bags in two hours, and while doing shifts at the Assembly Hall, they helped decorate 500 bags and pack them with lunch items such as sandwiches, yogurt, juice, etc. Our team filled 30 crates with food items that were distributed to needy children and schools in the neighborhood.
E&E also did the Clean & Prep shift in the Kitchen. We helped clean the kitchen and set up for the next day– restocking supplies such as gloves, aprons, hairnets, washing dishes, wiping tables and countertops. We got a chance to talk to the lady working there and to learn about the routes that the distribution trucks take, and their interactions with the little children who depend on them.
Volunteering at Meals on Wheels
Our Texas Chapter helped out at Meals on Wheels in Rosenburg, a nationwide organization dedicated to helping the elderly and chosen by UT Health to study. They helped run Bingo games, cook and prepare dinner, work in the art section, and just spend time with our elderly community.
On August 6, our students were taught by Ms. Alpana Deo, a freelance writer from Times of India, Austin Newsletter. The session lasted for two hours, they had their writeups analyzed and correct by Ms. Deo. We believe this will help our middle and high schoolers, especially.
E&E volunteers took part in Cityteam’s “Backpacks for Success” festival in San Jose. We all agree that education is probably the most effective path out of poverty. However, sadly, one of the heftiest prices paid by those living in poverty is the impact it has on their kids’ educational performance. “Backpacks for Success” festival ensures that low-income and foster children start the school year with the tools they need, feeling prepared and ready to learn. It was a great exposure for us to see how many needy people are in the city. Festival was also very fun with carnival games, food and prizes. Thank you Erin for giving E&E this opportunity.
It was an honor for E&E to represent India at “Kids’N Fun Festival” (KFF) event on Aug 13th in Cupertino, CA. “Kids’N Fun Festival” is a multi-cultural festival dedicated exclusively to children of all ages with activities, games, performance, and international delicacies. Fun Festival is recognized as one of the largest family events in the San Francisco bay area, with more than 20,000 people in attendance.
E&E took part in the event to represent India Cultural & traditions in KFF’s international village section. Our exhibit was so colorful and outstanding. Volunteers got to see much diversified culture around the world and they were able to take part in fun activities such as bouncy house, tug of war, drawing, watching drone show, fun rides, singing and dancing etc…
On August 23, E & E was invited to conduct a Book Drive at Casa De Bambini Montessori School’s Ice-cream Social day and we are thankful to the Management of CDB for their kind gesture. Families and kids donated their well kept books towards the cause and had lot of them inquiring about the Book Drive and “Accelerate Reading Project” and the ways to contribute. Books from here go to the Schools in India where their Libraries get resourced.
Cooking at Family Supportive Housing
On August 25, one of our volunteer’s families celebrated their daughter’s birthday at a homeless shelter. Simple things like sponsoring full meals to homeless transforms special moments into memories that last a lifetime. Best way of honoring someone’s birthday in a meaningful way. Family’s care for the poor, so many people’s blessings and unforgettable celebrations that turn special days into magical moments!
August 27 was an unusually pleasant morning with a good harvest waiting for us at the UMC garden….this is how the day started off for E & E Volunteers..we harvested 12 lbs of Okra, 17 lbs of Eggplant , 10 lbs of Green Bell Peppers..our youngest helper found all the hidden ones and was glad to pack them into bags. All the produce later was refrigerated. This Produce is transported to places like Houston Food Bank and East Bend Food Bank to serve the needy Shelters.
Joti, Neil, Rithika, and Nisha while Amitav and Shreya accompanied on keyboard. Entire program was run by our youth MC’s Namria & Amitav. We are living in diversified communities and there is a lot to learn from it. An understanding of different cultures enriches one’s own experience in life. Some got lost in the music world while some swayed. Little kids followed steps with our dancers and started dancing. They were adorable to watch. We had a great response from the community. Kudo’s to our entire team. Madhuri, Kavitha, and Pallabi thanks for giving ride to the team. Thank you Kavitha & Pallabi for sponsoring snacks and tea. Thank you Subhash Jaldu and Raman Ramamurthy for letting us barrow Microphones & Speakers.
Thanks Lael Takiguchi for reaching out E&E with Music and Dance plan.
Priya Living Center
For senior citizens, learning computers, smart phone usage, & basic internet skills can be challenging. But same things can be easy to learn when someone guides them through. Our volunteers gives one on one attention to senior citizens to help them understand step by step process. Sometimes teaching elderly these simple tools like how to email, Facetime, & browse the web helps them to keep in touch with their family more often. Our volunteers are blessed to get these opportunities.
On August 30, E&E volunteered at Cityteam’s kitchen. Our team helped to slice and dice vegetables & fruits. After that team served dinner to residents from men’s rehab center and homeless from streets. We are empowering the next generation through a community-based approach to become better citizens. This kind of hands on work Impact provides a fun atmosphere where youth can build positive relationships with caring adults as well as their peers.