Our first morning at Anwesha

Our first morning at Anwesha began with a colorful welcoming ceremony. There was tribal singing, drumming, dancing, smiles and laughter. We were adorned with red marks on our foreheads, blessed with special herbs, draped in marigold garlands and festive scarves! This truly set the tone for the rest of our visit.

back from India

I returned home to Asheville two weeks ago. After playing what seems like non-stop catch-up, I finally have some time to reflect on my time in India.

Woman's hands - Thar Desert
Woman’s hands – Thar Desert

Every moment was amazing – I won’t go into great depth today – I am just so excited to finally be able to start uploading photos for you all to see!

Women of the Thar Desert
Women of the Thar Desert

India – first update

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At last a free moment to post an update!

We have all been very busy cleaning and painting while waiting for the playground Wholefoods donated to arrive. It has been stuck at the Bangladesh border for days due to a strike. We have been told it will arrive today!

The 61 children were broken up into 13 groups.

I’d like to introduce you to my group who range in age from 5 to 11:

Priyanka

Dipa

Ripan

And brother and sister Purnima and
Akash

Final Appeal – Just Hours to Go – Let’s Do It!

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Okay this is my final appeal – with only hours to go to meet my goal the campaign needs to raise just $365.00

First, Thank You to everyone who has donated (some of you more than once!), helped spread the word and sent me wonderful e-mails!

Sometimes I think the hardest part of what I do is to ask people for money – but the reality is I, and many people like me, cannot do this kind of work without the generosity of others.

When I am on one of my trips I feel the presence of all of you, especially when things get rough – I think about all of you, your generosity, how you care about helping others less fortunate and I am able to draw strength from that.

So in these last few hours please get the word out –

Let’s raise that final $365.00!

Here is the link to my Indiegogo campaign:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stories-of-hope-varanasi-returning-to-india

Thank you,
Linda

Just 40 hours left to raise $925.00

Just 40 hours left to raise $925.00 –

That is all I need to reach my goal of $3500.00

I can’t believe that the campaign is almost over and the goal is so close!

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I have been asked why do I go on these trips – I can only answer by saying it feels right to me. I have been given so many opportunities through my life and career – it just feels right to give back.

How can I ask people for money? Well I honestly could not afford to do this work without the kindness of others. There are many people who dream about doing what I do but for many reasons cannot – this is a way for them to share in my journey. This is a way for them to make a difference!

So today with just 40 hours left I am asking for you to help me reach my goal.

If 10 people donate $100.00 I will reach my goal

If 19 people donate $50.00 I will reach my goal

If 37 people donate $25.00 I will reach my goal

If 93 people donate $10.00 I will reach my goal

Why should you donate?
Your donation will help a child rescued from child traffickers and violent abuse have a much better chance in life. We (the team of us) are going to clean, paint, build – but we are also going to play with the kids and give them big hugs – to let them know that there are good people in the world.

At the Anwesha Children’s Home these children are taught many of the basics we take for granted – which can be as simple as personal hygiene – they are given an education – something a lot of the rural children living in poverty do not get. There is a counselor living on-site to help them through the rough patches.

These children have been given a second chance – a second chance to have a childhood, a second chance grow up and become strong and productive adults.
Who knows what they will accomplish?

If you cannot donate – please help me by spreading the word – tell your friends, family and co-workers.

Here is a link to my Indiegogo campaign:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stories-of-hope-varanasi-returning-to-india

Thank you,
Linda

Returning to India

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With a strong belief that you must respect the craft, materials and abilities of the cultures with which you are interacting, I have been able to travel and share my knowledge with those less fortunate. 

To be able to teach a simple craft that we often take for granted to an individual or group that can in turn empower them on the road out of poverty is an experience like no other. It is both humbling and incredibly exciting. In 2009 I traveled to Munnar, Kerala in Southern India and taught a natural dyeing workshop at the Aranya Natural Dye Unit- the above photo is of the amazing folks I had the privilege of working with! 

This fall I have an opportunity to return to India, where I will be volunteering at an orphanage in Varanasi – won’t you help me to return to India? The trip will take place Sept 26th thru Oct 16th, 2014. The other volunteers and I will be building a playground for the children, providing them a clean and safe place to play.

I also hope to be able to fly across India at the end of my stay and visit the Aranya Natural Dye Unit to say hello and see how everyone is doing there – to hear their laughter and give them big hugs! This has long been a dream of mine and you can help to make it happen.

I am looking to raise $3500.00 to cover my airfare. The rest of my expenses will be covered by Whole Foods Market’s Team Member Volunteer Program.

As a Whole Foods team member here in Asheville, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to participate in this program.

I have written two books celebrating the people I have worked with (Stories of Hope – Mexico, India & Rwanda and Stories of Hope -Oaxaca, Weavers of Southern Mexico) and will do another book, Stories of Hope – Varanasi.

Over the past several years I have been able to travel and teach in so many parts of the world, India, Rwanda, Mexico, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, in Italy – with middle-schoolers on a US Military base whose parents were stationed in Afghanistan and with NYC 6th graders through the SIlk Road Connect Project.

Even if you can’t contribute at this time you can still help by spreading the word – tell your friends and co-workers – use social media – 

Together we can make a difference!

Donations can be made to Stories of Hope through the fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas,

https://www.fracturedatlas.org/donate/2928

Stories of Hope is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas,(https://www.fracturedatlas.org/ a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of Stories of Hope may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.