March 2013 CORDUSA News

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We have always looked for ways to get people of all ages involved with CORDUSA.  Towards this, CORDUSA has been organizing once-a-year service visits to one of the CORD Centers in India or Sri Lanka.  All of our service project visits have been very successful, creating a dramatic impact on the participants. This is also a great opportunity to earn volunteer hours for college applicants.  Due to popular demand, this year we have offered two separate service visits to CORD Centers in Sidhbari and Kaza. The application process opened on January 17th and was filled to capacity within a very short time! There are 52 participants that are preparing for a trip of their lifetime!  We wish them a pleasant trip, and will hear about their experiences after they get back in August.  There were some disappointed students and parents who were not able to secure a spot this year, but we’ll be sure to have another opportunity for them next year.  Please be sure to sign up to receive our announcements so that you will not miss out on this opportunity again.

A new year always brings new challenges. It offers a new start – and a chance to review our performance for the past year.

Last year in review:

In 2012, various centers fundraised for CORD USA and brought in $250K!!  This is up from 2011’s number $201K.  We want to recognize the efforts of these centers in bringing awareness and funds to the less fortunate ones.  A big thank you to (numbers rounded off to 100’s):

Chicago – $80K

New Jersey – $36K

New York – $27K

Boston – $20K

Portland – $15.5K

Minneapolis – $14.4K

Toronto – $14.2K

Los Angeles – $13.5K

Columbus – $10.2K

Ann Arbor – $8K

Atlanta – $5K

New Jersey $9.8K for Hurricane Sandy

This has only been possible because of your continuous support and commitment to CORDUSA. Let’s keep it up!  You can review last year’s list and numbers here.  If you are interested in conducting a fundraiser, please contact me and I will get you started on that right away!

CORDUSA activities:

Portland chapter organized cooking and serving at a homeless shelter on the New Year’s Day. One of the volunteers said – “It was an amazing experience. The exhaust fan was not working, so we were really in a sauna for 3 hours of cooking and 1 hour of serving. I don’t think it ever felt this good to work so hard in such heat!”  Inspired by the outpouring of thanks they got by the homeless shelter inmates, they are doing it again on April 6th!

NY CORDUSA served vegetarian food to the poor on January 19.  They now are very busy organizing “Salsa meets Bhangra”, a gala for fundraising and outreaching for CORD.  If you are in the NY area on April 13th, please be sure to check it out and encourage our NY chapter leads!  For this month’s local community service activity, CORD USA-NY is looking to UNICEF’s one-hour webinar on water conservation.  If this is something close to your heart, please get in touch with us to get more information.

CORDUSA has been quite active within the University circles… CORDUSA Miami chapter opened on February 25th, at University of Miami with a bang.  CORDUSA University of California, San Diego is also busy getting ready for their research and survey trip to the CORD centers in India.  We will keep you posted on these exciting activities through the blog.

Championing the cause:

CORD USA won $5000 Thomson Reuters Community Champion Award for being an outstanding example of community service as well as a $1000 Fidelity Charitable Grant!! Thank you to our dedicated supporters for your support and encouragement!

All of you have been ardent advocates of CORD USA, and it is appreciated by all of us.

I want to tell you the ways – big and small – long and short term – that fit your budget to help you plan in championing our cause.  Our website is well equipped to provide you with all this information.  As you know, you can make an online donation with a click of a button.  Easy, fast, secure – and – you can direct the amount to the CORD center of our choice!  Or, if you are the traditional type and want to mail-in your donation, please see our mailing address and make sure to provide your email address to receive the donation receipts immediately.  Be sure to check with your workplace about matching grants, it is very easy for us to do and it doubles your donation!

How can we continue to help?

Legacy gifts provide future support for CORDUSA’s efforts. Contributions by will, trust, other forms of written designation, life-income arrangements and endowment gifts; all represent forms of legacy giving. Any individual, at any point in their life, can create a legacy gift. It can be as easy as naming a charity on the beneficiary form on a savings, checking or pension account, or through a more complex instrument like a charitable trust.  I will be happy to discuss any and all options with you.

Do you have that car/boat/trailer you were looking to get out of your garage?  We would love to have you donate that vehicle for CORDUSA and we can provide you with a tax receipt.  Find out more

Many of us shop online these days.  Do you know you can donate to CORDUSA when you shop?  Go through Jatna, choose CORDUSA as your choice of charity, and do your regular shopping at Amazon, Staples or several other online shopping places. A percentage of what you spend goes to CORDUSA!  The best part of it all is that there are no further charges for that shopping.  How much easier can it get?!

You have been a strong proponent and you have always wanted to talk to others about CORDUSA’s work.  Why don’t you host a fundraising event and get recognized for it?  We will help you and equip you with the materials to get you started.

Last, but not least… If you are the type who wants to work at the ground level, get involved, and be right there with the people you help, then CORD India has a course for you…Chinmaya Grameen Sevak Prashikshan (CGSP).  This is a 1-year full-time residential course, which is totally free to the participants at Sidhbari, Himachal Pradesh.   CORD with all postings located in remote villages. Candidates from rural areas will be posted back to their home area if possible.  What better way is there to get to the grassroots?  Be quick however, as the application date ends on March 31st.

The Chinmaya Social Responsibility (CSR) program is a community-based development approach providing free training in music to children from the neighboring villages of Chinmaya Vibhooti. It aims at adding a valuable dimension to their early development through stimulation of their inherent creative and artistic spirit. Many of the children’s training have been sponsored by individuals wishing to promote and preserve traditional Indian Art forms. We, of course welcome more participation and help from you.

Let us look at CORD India and Sri Lanka…

CORD Deuladiha is working to end the injustice women face due to infanticide and sex trafficking. Through a Comprehensive Integrated Rural Development Project (CIRDP), CORD Deuladiha is working with 3031 households in Odisha to bring awareness to this injustice. Since education is a buffer in preventing such cruelty, CORD Deuladiha is focusing on younger girls by improving the quality of elementary education. The belief is that education is a key step in ending the discrimination against young girls that belong to socially disadvantaged groups.   Read more

CORD Kaza’s children are natural athletes! Ten children from Chinmaya Vijaya were selected out of a total of 1300. Of the 25 medals awarded, 21 were given to the girls of Chinmaya Vijaya. The girls won gold medals in long jump, high jump, 100 meter and 400 meter running competitions. To celebrate their success, the girls were adorned with garlands and a procession playing drums that welcomed them as they traveled back to the orphanage.  Read more

CORD Lathikata continues its organic farming initiative. A project was conducted to compare line transplantation of paddy instead of traditional plantation. The premise being that line transplantation will require fewer paddy seedlings, manpower, expenses, and will increase production compared to traditional transplantation. This study was carried out using 100 acres and 80 farmers. The hypothesis proved to be valid as there was a 38% increase in production with line transplantation as opposed to traditional transplantation. As a result of this promising finding, the farmers will continue to use line transplantation of paddy.  Read more..

CORD Siruvani participates in the ‘Power to Empower’. Members of the self-help group participated in the Women’s Entrepreneurship Bazaar where they sold pickles, pain balms, tablecloths, solar lamps etc. This platform not only gave the women a chance to earn revenue but also exchange ideas with other women in the same field.  Read more

CORD Tamaraipakkam tailors its way to success.  With 3 tailoring centers, CORD continues to play an effective role by equipping women with skills to earn additional incomes. The women are also issued certificates at the end of the course which has helped them receive free tailoring machines from the Tamil Nadu government.  Read more

CORD Sri Lanka promotes organic farming.  The usage of chemical insecticides and fertilizers for crops and vegetables in the Jaffna district not only affects the health of the people but also pollutes the soil and water. Furthermore, chemical inputs cost more money. In order to address this issue, CORD has trained its self-help group leaders on preparing different kinds of organic fertilizers and insecticides.    Read more

Big thanks to Paulomi Campbell and Shabana Dipchand for their help with the newsletter!  In May, I will be visiting the CORD Centers in Lathikata and Deuladiha.  I look forward to my trip and I will write about my adventures in my next blog!

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

Thank you!



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