Winner of New Action Center of the Year 2009 - Sab Diego
NOMINEE : SAN DIEGO ACTION CENTER
- $ amount of revenue generated: $6336.45
- # of active volunteers: 30+ active
- # of successful events: 3 ( 1 Walk + 2 tabling event + DJ party in march)
- # of media articles: 1 short film on Walk event + local radio publicity for walk
There are those who choose to ignore the situations that surround them and move on, and no initiative for outreach, and then there are those who choose to make a difference. Children in India are not as privileged, nor given the opportunity to succeed due to their circumstances. This is what triggered the formation of CRY San Diego’s Action Center.
As a foreign student living in America, I see the difference between the life kids get here and in India. When I found out about Child Rights and You, whose focus is to help underprivileged children, I felt my prayers were answered. Once I familiarized myself with CRY, I decided to contact CRY America’s CEO Shefali. Eager and willing, I decided to discuss this with my roommates, who suggested for me to go along with my passion and start a CRY Action Center in San Diego. Therefore, with the help and motivation of my roommates, as well as guidance from Shefali, we started CRY San Diego Action Center. We started the action center with a group of just 5 peopleand decided to begin networking by launching the CRY website to acquire volunteers. CRY SD is now has 9 core members and more than 80 volunteers in the google group so far!
Al though the working of CRY San Diego Action Center was begun in March 2009, just a months after, we decided to plan for the CRY Walk as our first event. This was a big event for a new action center, however, we all knew that this will make a big difference and provide for the children in India. Despite all our fears and inexperience of starting this walk, I was encouraged by the tremendous support from CRY America. We decided to have the walk on September 13, 2009 at Balboa Park, a beautiful and famous landmark of San Diego. Networking with other contacts was not as difficult with the help of the 9 core members of the team. We began spreading the word by tabling in different events and at least once a week in a nearby temple, making sure that we are not breaking any rules, we contacted the owner of the vicinity we are occupying. We received pamphlets and posters from CRY America, and with these leaflets, we approached people who are willing to listen and spoke about our cause. In every tabling event I made sure to have at least three core members present, to make sure that we are spreading the word in full force, without any hesitation. Aside from the philanthropic deeds that we all have in our minds, I also felt like this was a good way for all of us to bond, since we all have the same dreams and goals, in improving the lives of children in India. We met at least once a week, most especially when the event was approaching, it allowed us to really gather all our thoughts and have a common ground in terms of set up and the mechanics of the walk, each of the core members had a role. A CRY group was generated for the main core members as well as the volunteers, so that they can all be updated with any upcoming events. In order to solidify our volunteer membership, a retreat took place at the exact site of the walk to orient the members, as well as for guidance, so that they are more aware during the day of the walk. The 9 main group members also contacted different organizations for sponsorship. We were able to have Royal India provide Samosas for the walkers, given as treats after accomplishing the walk. Our Public Relations Lead contacted filmmaker Mithaq Kazimi to film the walk for us which will help us give a representation of charity, advocacy, and outreach as we progress in our advancement for Child Rights in India. Such efforts are vital in order to show that outreach can be done even if you are half way around the world. Overall, during the walk we had 25 volunteers, and 137 of participants, generating 6336.45. This not only reached, but exceeded our goal, since we were aiming for 5k for a 5km walk!
Due to the walk’s success, I knew that our momentum must keep going in order to accomplish more for CRY. The officers and volunteers participated in tabling at events, such as the SD NARI Play and a Tamil Sangam Concert, to raise awareness and sell CRY Greeting Cards. As for the future, we are planning to have a formal dinner, with an aspect of going “Green,” Perhaps, conceptualize the idea of having it as an outdoor, candlelight dinner. Another event we currently in the process of organizing for March 19, 2010 is a Bollywood Dance Party, called “Night Heist” On Broadway at the Gaslamp District of Downtown San Diego. March will also be CRY’s first anniversary, and we decided to celebrate it with a big bang!
What we have accomplished as a group of dedicated members allows us to communicate to mankind that outreach can be achieved even beyond the borders of India, wherein people of different color and creed can come together for one cause and inspiration; the love and respect for children.
Hers is the video we made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeYT3uEVFaA