It’s fun to write down stuff going on in your mind for long. And gathering ideas and suggestions from readers is yet another part of the fun and learning. But sometimes, when the fun of writing is backed by a genuine cause, the context becomes more real. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine called me and asked me to write a story, actually a success story, for the wonderful initiative she has been administrating, planning and running with the help of some of her colleagues, friends and volunteers. This was titled as ‘Blanket Donation Drive’ under the tagline of ‘Ride for a Cause’. It was to be written as if she herself is telling the story about how a simple act of kindness and giving became a great success and gave her a feeling of wholeness within. I’m sharing the original write-up with you. I hope you like it and be motivated by it.
The Warmth in Their Smiles
When I was a little girl, my parents used to tell me that it is the fate of the people that governs if they will live in poverty or abundance. Some people say it’s their Karma (things they did in the past) of that makes them who or what they are today! I believed them then but today when I have seen the world myself, through my awakened eyes, I realized how wrong I was! Their Karma and their fate may or may not be in their hands, but what we do for them is clearly a matter of our choices. Therefore, I decided to step forward and start an initiative where we could help the helpless and unfortunates who are either struck by bad fate or pushed down by their own Karma of the past deeds. This initiative titled as “Ride for a Cause” is the first one of many that has become a success story on a much bigger scale than the rest.
Under the tagline of “Ride for a Cause”, the first initiative, named the ‘Blanket Donation Drive’, was launched by ForU Foundation and supported by NowFloats Technologies Pvt Ltd. and Bolt, with the intention of helping homeless people, who struggle to survive in such chilling winter, by facilitating them with blankets. The motive was to distribute blankets to homeless people sleeping in the streets, footpaths, bus stops, railway stations and roadside. Volunteers came forward to help. Some of them donated the money for buying blankets, some of them volunteered for riding through the town for distribution of blankets, and some volunteered for both, adding up to a total of 44 participants.
The journey started on 7th December at Driven Cafe – Gachibowli, where we all assembled and discussed the routes to be followed, important guidelines, safety measures, emergency contacts and other details. We left Driven Cafe at 8:30 pm and covered 4 routes with following checkpoints:
- Driven cafe – Kondapur – Cyber Towers – Madhapur Police Station – Jubilee Hills check post – Starbucks coffee – Ram’s Dosa House (Route R1)
- Driven cafe – Biodiversity Complex – Toli Chowki – Indian Oil Petrol Bunk – Nampally Railway Station – Ram’s Dosa House (Route R2)
- Driven cafe – Meridian School Madhapur – Borabanda – Yousufguda – Begumpet – Somajiguda – Nagarjuna Circle Road, Punjagutta – Ram’s Dosa House (Route R3)
- Driven cafe – Kondapur – Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University – Moosapet – Sanjeeva Reddy Nagar – Yousufguda Checkpost Bus Stop – Harley-Davidson – Ram’s Dosa House (Route R4)
The participants were excited and showed great enthusiasm throughout the journey. We distributed over 200 blankets which means over 200 homeless people were saved from merciless winter that day onward. Although this might look like a simple act but the impact it will have on their life and ours will be quite significant.
Finally, after covering all these routes distributing blankets along the way, we reached the closing point – Ram’s Dosa House. Since there were many riders and different routes took different times to cover, the riders returned in batches at different timings. At Ram’s Dosa House, we had some food and refreshments after which we proceeded for a short video session involving taking suggestions and feedback from the participants. After refreshments, now it was time to put our energy on display with a flash mob dance just outside the Ram’s Dosa House, which actually turned out to be great fun! Finally, we captured the beautiful moments in our cameras, mobiles and on the canvas of our minds, whose barriers were recently broken down with the motivation and desire to do something great!
Throughout the journey, everyone around was delighted to witness this act of kindness and giving happening around them. One may think that the homeless people who received blankets must be the happiest ones that day but you won’t believe if I tell you that I was even happier than them. It gave me so much relief and a sense of completion like never before. When you become the reason for a smile on someone’s face, it’s priceless.
This Christmas, we became the Santa for those hundreds of unfortunate souls who haven’t witnessed the warmth of love in a long time. Be it donating blankets, providing shelter, facilitating food and resources or simply planning something for a cause, ForU will never be hesitant to take the first step!
At last, I would like to thank all the participants, planners, co-planners, donors, contributors, and everyone who helped me with little but important things, for making this initiative a great success for all of us.
We end this chapter now with the hope to start a new one for the ones in need. Let’s end this with these beautiful lines:
“I was given breath, I only wasted it,
I was given death, I only tasted it,
And when I was about to leave out of pain,
The warmth of their love made me live again!”
© Written by Varun K. Sharma