Be the Cause

Mission Statements

He wanted to know the mission of Be the Cause.  Once again I was stumped.  I looked over at Angela to rescue me.  With a shrug, we both knew that Be the Cause had no mission.  It’s been four and half years and we still haven’t quite figured out what we do.

We fumbled with our response, dropped some buzz-words like “service”, “compassion”, and “grass-roots”, but we knew that our words were not capturing the essence of it.  Ultimately, words will never be enough.  I just hoped that he understood in the way that I shook his hand.  With love.

Outside, both Angela and I felt comfortable in not knowing, and also in knowing that the secret was hidden somewhere in our hearts.  That the mission of Be the Cause was no different than the mission of our lives: to love. For four and half years we have been missionless, directionless, and objectiveless.  Somehow, it still seems to work.I think of the volunteer who stopped slitting her wrists because she found joy in serving others.  I think of Maushmi and her gang of volunteers in Houston as they played the violin for a man who died minutes later.  I think back to last year’s walk for hope as 30 cars were lined up on the side of the road at 4:30AM ready to spend the day serving others.

I think about all the Compassion Cells that Jeska has coordinated.  All the Evenings of Awareness that Michele, Mahsa and Raquel have helped create.  The Service Vacation trips that Bharti and Karuna have worked on.  The Sacred Site visits that Jason helps coordinate.  Where would we be without our website in place through the efforts of Alfred, Anshul, Stacey, Manveer, Baldeep, and Supun.  … and the foundation of Be the Cause itself, laid by folks like Muna, Barbara, Eleanor, Alex, Rebecca, Cheryl, and Shaheda.  The Change of Heart weekend coming together because of Ann.  The handling of our finances by Albert.  All the amazing graphic design work done by Nirali.  Our Google Adwords campaign by Sonali.  The online calendar being kept up-to-date without fail by Gianna and Manuri.  Melisa working on our media press releases.  And previous Walk for Hopes coordinated by many people including Thu-Trang, Ben, Kristeen, Mike, Divya, Harpal, Simoina, Larry, Brenda, Ganesh.  The list goes on and on.  The Evening in India organized by the travelers including Lanie, Carolina, Marcella, Angel, Laura.  Our mail being collected by Srini.  Srikanth and Elizabeth stepping in to take charge of the upcoming Seva Cafe.  … and there’s more. 

Where would we be without Bill and his mother Barbara biking into the Walk for Hope on accident, and immediately becoming life-long friends.  Without Aena, Hamood and her 1 year old son Mikail taking the train all the way from Ventura to spend one evening with us.  Without Thoi who drove all night from the Bay area to spend one day with us, and then drove right back in the evening.  Without Prerna threatening to move us all to Hong Kong to start a chapter there.  Without our friends at Charity Focus, Manav Sadhna, Tias Arms, ARO, Power of Love, LifeNets, and many others.

Somehow without a mission, without any structure, without any incentive plans, without stock options, without work-life balance, without hierarchy, without office spaces overlooking the ocean, without any titles, and without any clues as to where we are heading, somehow it works. 

It all came together last week when a friend left a check for $1000 without being asked.  The next day I called her to Thank her and she just said it was a gift from the universe… to the universe.  Enough said!

I guess Be the Cause is quite simply just that: a gift from the universe.  Our mission: to love.


Be the Cause Update

As we head into high gear for the last half of this year, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what we have accomplished so far.

Through the use of our google adwords campaign and the revamped website, we now get on average 1043 visits to our website… every single day!!! In the month of April alone, 47 people took the time to fill out our volunteer form through the website. That is a lot of people knocking on our doors, looking for opportunities to serve. The beauty of this culminates when we put up an interactive web page asking people what their one wish for the world is. 18 people responded with their wishes:

Four and half years ago, we started with two subscribers. Currently there are 3,855 subscribers to our newsletter!!! 494 subscribers to our Los Angeles Service email list. 160 members on our Houston Service List. 61 members to our high traffic Sharing list. and 31 members on our core communiqué volunteer list.

We have organized and participated in over 100 service projects that span several cities, states, and countries. One of the most inspiring sections on our website is our main gallery site because it pictorially depicts everything we have been up to on one single page. I encourage everyone to take a quick visit to this page, just to catch a recap of all the love that has gone into the last 4 ½ years:

The beauty of the entire operation is that money is the last thing we think about. Somehow everything we have ever needed has always come together. What’s more is that we have been able to raise over $58,913.12 for other organizations. Check out our finance page to see how these funds have been distributed.

At any given time, 20 events put together by different organizations appear on our website. These events are being posted mainly from California but increasingly from other states as well. Check it out:

… not bad for an organization that has no paid staff, no office space, and to this day has not held a fundraiser for its own expenses.

The upcoming challenges that face us include figuring out how to channel all the hits and volunteers on our website into meaningful and fulfilling service opportunities. We also have newer and more innovative projects coming up, including a Seva Café that runs on volunteers and doesn’t charge for meals that we are planning on launching as early as next month!!! How is it all going to come together? We’ll I’m sure it won’t be any different than before, through some hard work, a lot of love, and some coincidences that we may never understand.

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