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Poverty Alleviation Projects

May 30, 2008

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your May 2008 report for The $10 Club.

I’m always amazed at the way some people – especially children – manage to smile despite unimaginable poverty. In India, for instance, kids confront painfully dire circumstances as they try to endure each day. They live on city streets and in railway stations, surviving by begging or sorting through trash for recyclable plastic to sell. They are often sent from their rural families who mistakenly thought city life was filled with opportunities for their children. They are orphaned by parents who died of AIDS, and are runaways from frightening backgrounds including poverty, starvation because of drought, or parental abuse.

The New Hope Rural Community Trust takes in these children and gives them a chance at a better life. They never turn anyone away and work in some of the poorest rural communities in India. As a result, they meet individuals with a variety of terrible afflictions. New Hope cares for children who are disabled, have Downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, HIV, and a variety of physical or mental challenges.

Warmsi Krishna is one resident benefiting from New Hope’s care. He is a 12 year old boy who lost both of his parents to AIDS in the same year. Another boy, Subramnanian, is estimated to be 11 years old. He was pushed out of the moving train on which he was begging. And then there are three sisters whose parents are both HIV positive and cannot work or provide for the family. New Hope took the girls in to take pressure off the sick parents, and even give them a traveling allowance so they can visit their girls every other month.

Our May 2004 project was to build housing units for people in India with leprosy through the New Hope Rural Leprosy Project. Now, four years later, New Hope has come back to us with a new plea for help to benefit the children and others at their community centers and nearby villages.

This month, 370 of us joined together to donate $3,700 to the New Hope Rural Community Trust to satisfy a variety of needs including acquisition of a washing machine, a refrigerator, screens and doors at the hospice and dormitory, lockers for the children’s belongings, wheelbarrows and maintenance tools, and purchase of special medicines as needed. Hundreds of children will benefit from our support immediately and for years to come. Thank you!

Ruth Rose, Secretary of the Trust, told me that my email offering this grant “was like a light after a couple of rather dark days.” When explaining their needs she added, “I know this is all a strange ‘wish’ list, but it is always the bits and pieces that are so hard to get funding for.” So why do they need these things specifically?
  • Although the Trust has a family who traditionally works washing clothes and bed linens, with increasing numbers of residents and a strong need to change bedding more regularly for hygienic purposes, the Trust is in need of a washing machine that is large enough to make a difference in the daily routine and also is power efficient.
  • The facility now serves 245 different villages when it comes to emergency medical care, cataract eye surgery, and a variety of other health matters. With extremely hot temperatures in the region, they need a refrigerator to store medicines, including expensive anti-malaria drugs. They will also use the refrigerator to generate ice to use for cooling bath water for small children with high temperatures.
  • The main area in which the Center is located has been newly declared as a malaria zone. By installing screens and doors on their Hospice and their Dormitory they can help keep mosquitoes out.
  • They also need new lockers for each of the children to store their clothing and any other personal belongings, as well as wheelbarrows and tools. There are flower and vegetable gardens that the children tend and the soil needs a lot of composting work. Apparently, they have been trying for more than a year to get a wheelbarrow!
  • Additionally, there may be children taken in with special medical needs and our grant will enable these remedies to be acquired.

Any funds that remain will be used to make the orphaned children birthday cakes. Yes, birthday cakes – a simple pleasure once a year. In reality, when some of these children are rescued they don’t know their family name, their age, or their birthday. So the Trust gives them names and birth dates. And thanks to you, an ability to celebrate their lives.

After all these years I’m still amazed that people doing such important work could have such a difficult time screening windows or acquiring a refrigerator. As you know, I try desperately to fund vital projects in places where it is needed most. There are so many people suffering across the globe who literally “fall through the cracks.” Who is watching out for them? Offering to meet their needs? That is exactly what we do and why your contributions to The $10 Club are so vital. Thank you for your simple sacrifice again this month.

Just wait, you’ll soon see the pictures from this project, which I imagine will include the smiling faces of the children we’ve helped. And inevitably, that will bring a smile to your face too. How could it not?

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

Adam

PS. Just imagine how many more children and other people in need we could help if we doubled our membership each year. All that would take is for each of you to bring in one new person a year! Have you asked all of your friends and family to join? Please take a moment to do so. As you know, the rewards are immeasurable.


The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org