July 2016 – Newsletter

Written by: Rhea Dash, Volunteer & Staff Writer

Hi all,

Hope you all have been having a fantastic summer. It’s amazing how our youth have been willing to dedicate their spare time and summer vacation to helping those in need, and we hope to see more from them as we move into the school year.

July 2, Adruta children performing at Cubberley Theater, Palo Alto, CA

On July 2, E&E had the opportunity to help out with the Adruta children’s dance performance at Cubberley Theater in Palo Alto. Adruta is dedicated to rescuing and nurturing children abandoned at public places, destitute children and children of unwed mothers. Adruta provides them with shelter, quality education in good schools, and professional cultural training in art, dance and music, as well as in handicrafts. The Adruta children have performed all over the world and have consistently received high praises.

Cooking at Family Supportive Housing, San Jose, CA

On July 10, our volunteers prepared and served wholesome and nutritious hot meals with a smile a Family Supportive Housing. We had volunteers from ages 8 to 70 for this event. It was great to see all the generations coming together for a good cause. Our menu was Portobello Mushroom soup, bread rolls, chicken Alfredo spaghetti, mixed vegetable pasta with marinara sauce, fruit salad, ice cream and pound cake. Nichenametla’s family generously sponsored this event to celebrate their children’s birthdays by joining us in investing in the lives of homeless individuals and families. Thanks to the incredible dedication and support from our volunteers and their families.

Gardening at UMC, Austin Pkway, Sugar Land, TX

On July 16 and 24, E&E worked at the UMC gardens. They got to learn about the harvest, preparing the bed, and the factors that influence these procedures: how to determine if it’s up for harvest, how to plough the soil gently to sow the seeds, how to master the technique involved with it. Our team harvested more than 100 lbs of produce to go to the EastFortbend Food Bank, which provides the needy with organic, fresh produce. We received a hearty thanks from the instructors, Mr. Tom Fannin and Mr. Mark Larson, for working so efficiently.

Sacred Heart community services, San Jose, CA

On July 16, our volunteers helped out in Sacred Heart’s clothes closet and food pantry. We made more than 2000 bags of food items and household supplies and organized 8 racks of donated clothes for guests to pick up. Very productive day!

Reading Awareness campaign in Hyderabad, India

On July 20, our Executive Director Kavitha Pullela, Ops Manager-India Bharathi Singh, and our teen volunteers visited preschools in Hyderabad and had story time for the kids. This is part of the Reading Awareness Campaign that we are conducting among preschools in India. These little munchkins made our day with their curiosity, enthusiasm and lovable personalities. We appreciate the school’s efforts in adding an extra library hour and introducing library cards so that the children could borrow them on weekends. Proud of our team.

Helping seniors with technology at Priya Living, Santa Clara, CA

On July 23, our youth spent quality time helping older generations learn how to use their gadgets, such as iPads, smartphones and computers. The seniors got one-on-one attention from the volunteers and got their questions answered.

Volunteering at CityTeam shelter, San Jose, CA

On July 23, our team helped make food packages and sort donated clothes at CityTeam.

Our assembly line was very efficient, and we made 400+ food bags. The kids really got into it, with boys vs. girls racing to see who could bag food items faster. As always, CityTeam’s friendly staff treated our volunteers like family. One staff member, Oscar, started teaching some of them how to use a forklift which was fun to watch.

Lunches of Love, Sugar Land, TX

On July 28, our Texas chapter helped out with Lunches of Love, making lunch bags to be distributed to children in need. Our volunteer kids not only realized the value of their food but also the comforts that are provided by parents, it made me feel very proud when they came to me and said they would now share their food with less fortunate just to see them happy!!! This is what volunteering does to them!!

ARP at A.P. Model School, Kanigiri, India

We are elated to share the news that Launch of “Accelerate Reading Project”, has taken off officially in association with Gemini News on a grand note in our new partnered school- Kanigiri A.P Model School. We are indeed fortunate to get like-minded to collaborate with us! “ARP” is a Project we have started with an intention to resource libraries of those schools in English medium which cater to the under-served children, so far we have partnered with 5 schools and off them three are Govt Model Schools. They have not only understood the importance of Reading but also implemented the necessary procedures, like, introducing Library Hours to all the sections of the School. We wholeheartedly appreciate this initiative.

Our team from US & India had put so much an effort to add this new school to our list. E&E had a grand welcome from the school management and students. E&E Executive Director Ms. Kavitha Pullela had briefed assemble about our organizational activities and how much of work goes behind in getting these books to the shelves of these schools!! Our Operations Manager of India Division Mrs. Bharathi Singh had spoken about the collaborative effort with Sree Kanachana Charitable Trust and the various activities that are taken care of together and explained how the project gets implemented.
Our volunteers Keethana & Gautham Pullela got up to the stage to share their thoughts about our project “Accelerate Reading” and motivated students to build good reading habits. Our partnered youth organization Cognizance Welfare Initiative, found by Siddharth Mandala, also took part in this event. CWI would be in charge of mentoring students with the guidance of E&E Team and they would also be the face of E&E Youth. Adreil, Vishal, Nikhil, Keshav along with Siddharth would visit the Partnered Schools periodically and would work for the Project.
We also took part in “Planting of Trees” a Govt., project that was started all over the state. Our team, students, staff along with local MLA Mr. Kadiri Baburao planted about 500. Students took a pledge that they would take care of these plants.
The event has indeed been a fantastic experience where our team was treated like celebrities!! Students had an opportunity to spend quality time with team to understand better about the project.
It is very encouraging to see all those students’ enthusiasm, curiosity & interest. Kudos to the Principal who is committed to bring this change in the school and already started implementing the steps we have proposed. We can’t thank enough Kalyan for making this possible. Kalyan you are one of the best team mate to work with. We seek support from you all, take part in this project at your own capacity and make all those students rich with knowledge!!
We are indeed blessed to be associated with such lovely team!!

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Volunteering at “Our City Forest”, San Jose, CA

On July 30th, 2016 E&E was at “Our City Forest” (OCF) to do community nursery (gardening) work. Team helped with various tasks such as transplanting trees & shrubs, cultivating seedlings, watering, removing invasive species, pruning, moving and staking trees, labeling plants, filing mulch buckets, and re-potting etc… It was great opportunity for our volunteers to gain hands-on nursery and landscape experience while supporting a good cause! Thank you volunteers for all your hard work in the outdoors.


Volunteering at “CityTeam’s shelter Kitchen”, San Jose, CA

On July 30th, 2016 E&E was at City Team shelter’s kitchen to volunteer. Team got to do dinner prep work. We folded napkins and forks for residents and guests from streets. Unpacked all unwanted bread from wraps and made boxes for pig farm guy to pick up to feed pigs. And then we had an opportunity to serve hot meals to residents and guests from streets. It was quite a fun