Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Help Ashraya

If you would like to help a not for profit in Pune working with children:
Hi IndiaHelps,

My name is Elizabeth Sholtys, and I'm the founder of an organization called the Ashraya Initiative for Children (AIC). AIC is a completely secular non-profit organization that works in Pune with street children, orphans, denotified tribes and slum communities in the areas of health, education, microfinance, community development and advocacy. More information about what we do can be found at our website (www.ashrayainitiative.org). 
So why am I writing to you? I need your help. Or, more accurately, kids in Pune need your help. AIC is in the running for $250,000 through the Chase Community Giving contest via Facebook. We're currently #36 in the list of more than 500,000 organizations (!), and are trying to secure more votes to move up to be within the top 5. Each organization within the top 200 will receive $20,000, but if we can make it to the top 5, we will receive $100,000 when the contest ends on July 12th. Only American organizations are eligible to compete, so there are very few other organizations that work in India participating in the contest, and in fact, many of the other high-ranking organizations in the contest are cat and dog shelters and animal rescue foundation groups in the US. While I'm sure that these other groups are also worthy causes, I feel strongly that vulnerable children in India should receive priority over stray animals in the US in terms of receiving the prize money, and I would very much like to stir up Indian support so that we can bring this prize money to India to benefit needy children here.
We are about as grassroots as they come - run exclusively by unpaid Directors and 100% of our funding comes from donations. As we try to minimize our administrative overhead (and therefore have no designated marketing/PR budget), I'm writing to bloggers and forums to help me get the word out about this contest and drum up support for our organization, particularly from within India and Indian communities outside of India.
I would greatly appreciate it if you would be willing to help AIC by posting a message to your blog/supporters, telling them about this contest, and directing them to the site (link is below). Voting is completely free and takes only a minute (literally!). Please help us stay in the top 200, and maybe even work our way up to the top 5 by spreading the word! It will make a huge difference in the lives of the children and families that we work with in Pune. Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information in order to pass the word along to your readers.
Thanks so much,
Elizabeth Sholtys, CEO

1 comment:

Liz said...

An update from AIC - we are actually #14 now - SO CLOSE! Please vote for the children and help us bring the money to Pune!