As Fall dawns upon us and festivals knock on our doors, I sometimes feel, festivals are beyond the domains of religion, it's probably the celebration of giving, the celebration of good over evil. Attending the first fundraiser of "We for Hope" was just re-instilled this belief in me when I saw hundreds attending it at the Rogers Center for Arts in North Andover.
We for Hope is a non-profit organization launched in January of 2010. The mission is simple: to support, assist and strengthen the underprivileged individuals through project based fellowships and mentoring them with the help of other grass root level organizations. It aims to make this world a better place for everyone – just one at a time.
As an umbrella organization, “We for Hope” works with many grass-roots NGO like Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission, Change Initiatives and Niharika in West Bengal, India. The primary objective is to enable one of the fundamental rights of children – education for the underprivileged. The program is executed in partnership with StepUP & Children International-Sahay. It also caters to local charities in Boston area – Soup Kitchen at Rosie’s Place, several women shelters and many others.
About 300 people attended the event filled with cultural events of different flavors. : Bollywood dance numbers from Jhumka Dance Company, East-West music of seven-member band Kashish, Odissi dance by Mouli Pal and drama production "Ballavpureer Rupkatha." Event attendees also brought with them donations of canned goods and 10 bags worth of donated clothing, which is planned to be distributed to area Boys and Girls Clubs.
I had a brief chance to talk to the pillars of the organization: Gouri Ghosh , Sumita Basu and Deepak Deb. They confirmed that their experience proved helpful in keeping expenditures to a minimum in order to maximize the amount of aid sent to its partners in Bengal although they could not elaborate on the exact total the event fetched but they happily said "Everybody was in a giving mood". Six committee members run “We for Hope”, most of whom reside in Massachusetts. Lot of attendees showed sincere interest to volunteer with “We For Hope”, in future as they got excited with the mission of the organization.
Mr. Puran Dang came to the event as the ‘keynote speaker’ and delivered an elevated speech about the call for philanthropy within the South Asian community and congratulated ‘We for Hope’ for the endeavor. Mr. Satya Mitra of Worcester, in his engaging talk, also enlightened audience when he spoke about the thoughts and ideas behind the birth of “We for Hope”. Massachusetts
Governor Deval Patrick’s video was played before the talk of Mr. Mitra. In the video, Mr. Patrick, allured the audience in welcoming and congratulating the members of “We for Hope”. It was absolutely touching and I felt an immense appeal for community work was very much present there.
The organization’s other task is to involve more local community youngsters, so they feel the importance of giving here at home in Boston area. At the event day on September 25, 2010 ‘We for Hope’ had tables set up for can food drive and clothing drive which would benefit the local Boston Charities, such as Rosie’s Place in Boston , Missionaries of Charities in Dorchester or Big Brother Big Sister , Boston. According to the organizers, they had collected a few bags of clothes for donation.
The organization is currently a loose network of reliable volunteers and needs is calling for help. The group is looking to expand its ranks with any interested volunteers, as well as volunteers to take charge of marketing and communications.
For further information, please visit, www.weforhope.org
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