Award Name: New Action Center of the Year

Connecticut Action Center

  • Revenue generation
  • Volunteer mobilization
  • Events
  • Media coverage

Measurement Metrics:
  • Revenue generation of >=$5000
  • Core team of >=5 active volunteers
  • 3 successful events in the 1st year
  • At least 1 media article & Journalist relationship

The Story: Connecticut Action Center

Troubled by the alarming infant mortality and child labor in India one in six girls do not live to see their first birthday and 17 million children are laborers we laid the foundation of the Connecticut Action Center of CRY America (ConnAC) in late 2007 with one focal mission: to build a sustainable action center with a volunteer base focused on spreading awareness and raising funds to combat injustices against children.

Working towards the organizations goal and focus, we began talking about the plight of Indian children with friends and colleagues. A lot of people were ready to contribute and were happy to have found a medium to do so! The action in Connecticut started with 5 volunteers and a Games arena comprising of ten booths in a corporate get-together of more than 400 employees and clients. The roaring start of raising huge awareness and funds ($2000) helped in setting the positive tone for ConnAC. A core group of nine members was formed in the Cognizant Hartford Life corporate circle. After hosting brainstorming sessions, we launched our first independent event, Chaar Rang Yaaron Ke Sang, CRY Ke Sang (HOLI) in March, 2008! This was a huge hit Around 350 people attended the event and we raised more than $10K (gross). More importantly, we reached out to the University students who volunteered to perform at the event. A pre-event article in Lokwani and a post-event article on the local newspaper, CT Indian Life helped spread the word around!

With the second quarter of 2008, the volunteer base started expanding beyond the corporate circle and more fundraisers, such as the Indian Ocean Concert, the CRY-Cognizant-Travelers Cricket tournament, and the CRY Walk 2008 were organized during the year in addition to putting up stalls in a few local events. An especially commendable achievement for our volunteers was to make the big-budget fundraiser, Indian Ocean Concert, a success even under the pressure of a small publicity timeframe (3 weeks only). Sticking posters across Connecticut and Massachusetts during the publicity kick-off weekend, Playing promotional CDs & Interviewing on local FM channels, Leg Campaigning in various Indian housing communities, temples & grocery stores, and Online Campaigning via Facebook and Orkut These were a few of the publicity means that worked for us!

These events and the commitment of our volunteers set the stage to achieve the target revenue of $25K (Gross). One of our notable accomplishments was to set up the Action Centers Citisoft webpage to showcase and market all our events. Although we are aiming to improve our profitability in 2009, in just about an year, we have established our mission, arranged corporate sponsorships, established good relations with the media (university radio, local FM & newspapers) and made a lasting impact: 35 dedicated volunteers from diverse backgrounds (IT consultants, accountants, lawyers, doctors, homemakers, and students) and many more people who have silently committed to be a part of our events. Seeing the roaring support of people, we are affirmative that our little Connecticut, "The Land of Steady Habits" will keep contributing towards the cause of underprivileged children. In fact, the volunteers are already bubbling with excitement to achieve new targets in 2009!