Be the Cause

Tomorrow, Haiti

12 travelers embark on a journey
They leave tomorrow
They wait in anticipation for the moment to arrive

Some of them are known to one another
they have traveled together before
to far off places like India and Sri Lanka

Some of them are strangers, meeting the rest for the first time

This time, they travel to Haiti
A place torn apart by earthquake, poverty and a health epidemic
But they don’t go to change Haiti
They go to find a piece of themselves hidden somewhere in the rubble
Where the lifting of a rock, cleaning up of debris, holding the hand of a gentle soul may remind us that each one of us is capable of giving in some way to one another

While there, the travelers hope to:
– Assist with Earthquake Clean-up efforts — Yes, even after a year and a half clean up work still remains
– Distribute supplies to displacement camps
– Provide instruction on the Cholera epidemic
– Initiate additional projects that might be deemed worthwhile while on the ground

Today, the travelers put in last minute touches to their packing
Tomorrow, a new beginning for all of them

More info on Haiti:
– Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere
– Population: 10M
– Between 50K to 300K died from the Earthquake in January 2010
– More than a million remained homeless one year after quake

Houston Continues…

Abhinav from Houston helped organize a meeting of volunteers in Houston over the last weekend.  The meeting was designed to give the volunteers an opportunity to interact as well as to discuss ways of improving their weekly Food for Life program.  I wasn’t at the meeting but I was really inspired just by the fact that they met so I’ve posted their meeting minutes here:

Hey All,

I think it would be an understatement to say that we had a great meeting on friday evening. It was so much beyond what I could have ever imagined and must say we truly had the most wonderful time together. So let me start with a big thanks to everyone who was part of the experience. We had a so many great suggestions and so much enthusiasm, I think we have to come to a point where we acknowledge how this program has impacted our lives and what it truly means to be a part of it. There is really no need for me to stress on the fact that we must manifest in ourselves that what we need to change in the world, and I can confidently say, we are all way past that and kudos to everyone who has been a part of FFL and be the cause!
Very quickly I would make an effort to summarize the meeting:
Venue : Audra’s Apartment
Date & TIme :  April 30th, 7 PM
The Highest priority is to increase our involvement in the Kids meal project. We need to go on the sandwich distribution rides on monday with the hope of better understanding the program. THe key learning would involve, buliding relationships with the kids and their parents, understand their needs and perspective on FFL, look into ways of creating a stornger message with a larger impact through this expereince. This can include pictures, testimonials, videos etc. Kym, along with Abhinav, Saurabh and Mr. Parikh would make dedicated efforts in the coming weeks to build on this. The target for a basic campaign which would include few distribution rides is 2 months from the date of the meeting.
Following are the assigned responsibilities for the various tasks to aid the program
Abhinav & Rosie – Volunteer Contacts and awareness building
Audra & Kym – Fund Raising & Supplies
Houston Food Bank and Temple Contacts – Saurabh
Art & Creative Support – Jameeka
Again, keeping it informal, this is just aimed at channeling our efforts and everyone involved is always more than welcome to help the program in whatever way they please :)
Here is the list of actions for the meeting
  • Create sign in sheet for the volunteers – Abhinav (05/07)
  • Followup with temple treasurer for FFL funds – Abhinav (05/21)
  • Create an account with vounteer houston – Abhinav (05/21)
  • High Priority – Call up Ruth, invite her for a talk at FFL – Abhinav (05/21)
  • Mail banner information to Mr Dinesh – Abhinav (05/21)
  • Look into creating online volunteer calendar – Abhinav (05/09)
  • Check with creating an acoount with Sam’s Club – Abhinav (05/31)
  • Post weekly invites on the Facebook calendar and encourage volunteers to Join FFL on facebook – Jameeka
  • Make a design for the FFL banner – Jameeka (06/10)
  • Make a design for FFL T shirts – Jameeka (06/20)
  • Bag sangwiches out in the temple vernadah from 5 to 7 to increase awareness – Saurabh, Abhinav & Mr. Dinesh (05/09)Raise on an average $100 per week by start of July

Again, the dates are just to add a priority and there is no penalty on missing them :D. I think I have pretty much everything we discussed in there, If I have missed out something or if anyone else has another cool suggestion to add to the list, please let us know. Lastly, if you havent already done so, please register with be the cause on  Its a greatway to stayin tune with our Be the cause family!.

The next meeting is planned for 07/10

Phew! took me an hour to compose this one, if you have indeed read the whoke thing, thank you for the rather brave effort, but here is a little consolation for those of you who did get to the end:

Lastly, a special thanks to Audra for being a wonderful host twice in a row now!!
Warm Wishes
Audra Noske
The Grey Family
Peter Grey
Rosemarie Grey
Kym Harris
Dinesh Parikh
Sangeeta Parikh
Other FFL Volunteers:
Damodar Das
Nick Hostos
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