December 2011 CORDUSA News

Hope you are all having a great time decorating your home to bring holiday cheer!

We, at CORDUSA also did some holiday decorations. We redesigned our web site! Please check out the new design at

CORDUSA New website

In fact, I started redesigning the site as a distraction, to get my mind away from some disturbing news. I thought dipping my hands deep into mindless technology would be the easiest way to keep it occupied. However, as the design evolved I was able to keep my mind positive and was very thankful that I was able to turn my worries and anxieties into something creative. Please do visit the website and let me know how I can make it better.

Let us start our information blog with our activities during October – December in USA.

This quarter, there were 5 walkathons conducted, raising a total sum of over $80K! Thanks to our Tri State (New Jersey, Philadelphia & Bridgewater), Columbus, Buffalo, Boston & Minneapolis centers! Keep up the wonderful work! Click on the links above to   see the pictures.

What is the true spirit of giving? How can service to the community transform our lives as well as others?  Austin based CHYKs (Chinmaya Yuva Kendra) learned this valuable lesson during their camp on October 1st. As part of their Seva, they cleaned up the Montopolis Greenbelt as part of   their camp. Please check out the pictures and see how much fun they had!

CORDUSA, Princeton Chapter did a school supplies drive for the Auten Road Intermediate School, NJ in September. “Your example of caring and sharing will hopefully promote a spirit of community cohesiveness and responsibility in the many students you have helped,” wrote the social worker who received the supplies on behalf of the school.

Princeton also went through “WorldCares” training and started working with them on the Hurricane Irene relief work.

A few high school students at Minneapolis started the project of making fleece blankets to sell at the Chinmaya Mission Minneapolis Diwali Mela, and they wanted the sales proceeds to be donated to CORDUSA! What a wonderful way to contribute! Those super soft, extra warm blankets sold out in no time!

Our Washington DC Chapter did an “Operation Gratitude” run during Halloween. Children shared their Halloween bounty with U.S military soldiers overseas, thereby expressing gratitude for their service. These acts of caring help us instill in our children the values of giving and sharing.

As for our upcoming adventures…

We will have our annual service visit in June 2012. This is an opportunity for high school students enrolled in the Chinmaya Bala Vihars to travel to India and volunteer their time serving the under-served. Next year’s visit will be to CORD Sidhbari. More information will be available soon. Stay tuned!

As we speak, Acharya Vivek Gupta of Niagara Falls is getting ready to lead a group of CHYKs on a Yatra, and part of their trip will take them to CORD Siruvani. We are very eager to hear more about their visit and certainly will keep you posted as well!

Thank you Shabana again for helping me pull the following information together…


CORD Thamaraipakkam trains to gain. They conducted a 21 day ‘Basic skill Training on jute bags and other fancy Jute articles’ for self help group members and young women from nearby villages. Next time you visit India, instead of buying designer bags, why not support their cause and go eco-friendly? We’ll be helping a lot of families this way. Think about it. >>Read the full report

CORD Siruvani promotes healthy teeth. More than 400 villagers were screened for dental caries, oral cancer and other problems. The villagers were also explained the effects of tobacco chewing and smoking. They were given packs of toothpaste, toothbrush and mouthwash and shown the correct method of brushing teeth. >>Read the full report

CORD Sidhbari continues to grow! They have identified 770 Village Volunteer Resource Persons (VVRP) on different issues pertaining to sanitation, domestic violence, female feticide, HIV/AIDS, adolescent girls, Bal
Vihar, single women and disabilities in 28 selected Panchayats. They are continuously working on training VVRPs in order to better serve the community. >>Read the full report

Ever wonder where our rice comes from? CORD Deuladiha is working on training farmers and rice growers to be more efficient in producing rice to guard them from scarcity during drought season. >>Read the full report

CORD Lathikata goes green! They recently held a “Vana Mahotshav” celebration where they planted more than three hundred seedlings in school premises! They also conducted a quiz for 100 school children along with an awareness program on the importance of the forest and its protection. >>Read the full report

CORD Kaza improves the standard of education for children. While CORD Kaza (Chinmaya Vijaya Orphanage) continues to provide all the basic necessities and training for the children, they are now sending the children off campus for formal schooling. >>Read the full report

The former President of India, Hon. Abdul Kalam, sponsored   a lunch for all the children at Chinmaya Vijaya on the occasion of his birthday.

After the Tsunami in Sri Lanka, women have been widowed or displaced from their homes. CORD Sri Lanka helps such women get back on their feet by actively facilitating self-help groups and by implementing a program with the bank of Ceylon whereby the women can have access to loans. >>Read the full report

Let us continue spreading holiday cheer….

Sree Sankara Balashramam, an orphanage in Kerala state, was started in 1978 by His Holiness, Kanchi Kamakodi Peethadipathi, Jayendra Saraswati Swamikal. In 1988, during a visit of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda in Trivandrum for Jnaana yagna, he had a chance to visit the Balashramam. At that time the working condition of the Ashram was not optimal. Observing this, Gurudev’s heart melted and he took necessary actions to resuscitate the noble vision. This was followed by the handing over of Sree Sankara Balashramam to Chinmaya Mission, Trivandrum. We bring you a few pictures from the Balashramam.

Let us introduce you to, Varun, an eight year old, with aortic valve stenosis (narrowing of the Aortic valve in the heart). His parents are very poor and he has just undergone Balloon Valvuloplasty with the help of Rs. 50,000 that CORD Siruvani managed to get as donations. They require funds up to Rs.10,000 for his regular hospital visits, reviews and medications at concessional rates in Kuppuswamy Naidu Hospital.

Also, please meet Naseera Begum, an 11 year old girl from Assam, and now resides in Thennamanallur, the village where CORD Siruvani operates from. Naseera has a very aggressive, malignant bone cancer (osteosarcoma ) in her right leg which requires immediate surgery and chemotherapy to save or prolong her life. The biopsy and MRI have already cost Rs 11,000 at a subsidized rate in New Ganga Hospital which CORD Siruvani managed to raise from donations. Another Rs. 100,000 is needed for chemotherapy followed by surgery.

If you would like to brighten your holidays further, please consider helping these two children. You can make your donations online to CORD Siruvani,  so that these funds will be used for Varun and Naseera.

You always knew that volunteering is the right thing to do, but have you given it enough thought as to why it is key and why volunteering is good for your career? Please see Nicole Williams’s blog, she has very good insight into this matter.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, I am just an email away…

Happy Holidays!