The children of SOFKIN need your help. They have been witnessing the suffering of their neighbors as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and feel compelled to do something to help. They ask you to join them.
COVID-19 IMPACT IN INDIA
Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in India at the beginning of March, the number of cases is steadily increasing and people remain in quarantine. With the lock down suspending all forms of work, India's poorest people are now facing severe poverty and deprivation. With very little savings and barely any food supplies, families in India are having fewer meals, borrowing money to pay for food, and braving the fear of police vigilance during the lockdown. The daily wage workers and their families are finding it especially difficult to make ends meet and provide for their families.
SOFKIN children appreciate everything they are blessed with through the generosity and support of our donors. And their hearts truly feel for the families who are not nearly as fortunate, who are struggling to secure the basic necessities of life, especially food.
THE GIVING HEARTS OF OUR CHILDREN
The children and staff, therefore, decided to sacrifice one meal each week and monthly birthday celebration to help community members in Keesara Mandal, where the SOFKIN homes are located. In addition to the money saved, SOFKIN also received generous in kind donations from the local community and friends. This allowed them to purchased and gather more food, then the children packaged into bags. A pack of 5 food bags contained enough rice, dal, potatoes, onions, salt and chili powder to make meals for a small family for a week.
SOFKIN received assistance from Mr. Narender Gould, Inspector of Police at the Keesara Police Station, in identifying needy, daily wage workers in the area. One hundred families in dire need - who were not being helped by anyone else – were selected.
A team from SOFKIN distributed the food bags on April 12th.. The team included Mr. Y. Venkatachalam, General Secretary of the SOFKIN Board of Directors in India; Mrs. Madhupamma, SOFKIN Project Manager; Mr. Nagaraju, SOFKIN Driver and Care Taker; and Nikhil, one of the older boys from SOFKIN. The team secured a special permission letter from the police that allowed them to be out of quarantine, and they were also accompanied by a police team to assure their safety. An interesting side note is that SOFKIN just received a citation from Police Inspector Gould, thanking them for their “services and concern towards the poor and needy.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
While this was a wonderful effort by the children and staff of SOFKIN to help 100 desperate families, SOFKIN believes that the need of the hour is at least ten fold more. They would love to reach out to the community again – and with your help, they can. Each meal per person would cost $1.50. A donation of $5 would provide 5 meals to a family. So, a donation of just $25 would feed 5 families for a week; a donation of just $50 would help 10 families in dire need. Please consider making a donation to support this important service.
KEEP THE SHARING GOING
In the meantime, SOFKIN children and staff have been brainstorming ways that they could save money, which could then be applied to food purchases for needy families. They have agreed to save on electricity by not using the generator during the 3 or 4 times/day that the municipal electric power is out. By using oil lamps and candles during these periods, expensive fuel for the generator will be saved. They also plan to save on both food and costly cooking gas by reducing the two food items per meal (dal with rice and curry with rice) the children have been served, to just one food item. The children have also agreed not to have birthday cakes at their monthly birthday celebrations, as well as use water more wisely. At the end of the month, all of these savings - along with money saved on travel expenses while everyone is in quarantine - will be calculated. This amount will then be used to buy food for their neighbors in need, many of whom are coming to SOFKIN’s doors pleading for help.
Will you join the children of SOFKIN - who are willing to forgo birthday cakes and study by candle light - to help their neighbors who are suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic? A donation of any amount will be greatly appreciated.
As always, we are grateful for everything you do to support the children of SOFKIN. Stay safe – remember we are all in this together!