Each of us may not have access to decision-makers in big companies, but we can easily reach out to our local communities. These include residential welfare associations (RWAs), apartment complexes containing multiple units, and our religious and social communities. To have them as event owners during #DaanUtsav would mean that our immediate environment could also experience the joy in giving!
Some examples to get inspired by
Sterling Terraces in Bangalore last year organised a week-long festival during #DaanUtsav, with one event each day. Through the collections made they were able to support three schools and organisations, namely, Awake, Navachetana and Shri Krishna Anath Shishu Nivasa. CommonFloor.com, a real estate portal, carried the #DaanUtsav logo to raise awareness about the festival. Similarly, residents of Lanco Hills Apartment in Hyderabad have been celebrating #DaanUtsav in their own way.
Coming to religious communities, volunteers at Aundh Gurudwara in Pune organised ‘Feed It, Feel It’, a community lunch or langar.Several people including devotees gathered at the gurudwara, cooked food and distributed it to people on the streets.
Meanwhile, the Rotaract Club in Hyderabad has been organising several activities as part of #DaanUtsav celebrations. Walkathons, spending a day with children at an orphanage, NGO melas and thalassemia awareness drives are just some of the events they arrange.
If you think you have it in you to be a leader for change and mobilise your community to create giving events, here are some ideas you might find useful:
Collection of old clothes, food grains, shoes, books and stationery to name a few, for a local NGO, orphanage or an old-age home, are extremely easy to organise and execute. The ‘givers’ often like to visit the beneficiaries when the collected material is being delivered, as this deepens the bond with them. NGOs sometimes prefer to set up their own collection booths in the lobby or near the lift area, with their volunteers driving the collection.
This is a simple idea to get a group of people together to make and distribute sandwiches. The element of teamwork makes this activity engaging, with people pooling in the ingredients and preparing the sandwiches. Distribution of the sandwiches require the participants to go onto the streets and interact, hopefully strike an engaging conversation, and return having made a new friend.
In this fundraising event, residents may set up food counters and price the items such that only a portion of profits is retained by the stall owner—the rest goes to the NGO or cause being supported.
We all have people in our homes who help us out in our daily chores. Why not take #DaanUtsav as an opportunity to thank them for making our lives easier? Why not organise an event for them and their families? A fun mela with food and games, a felicitation ceremony, sponsoring education of their children are just some of the small ways one can give back!
An idea that has worked across verticals is the ‘Wish Tree’. It can be set up in a lobby, near the lift area or at any place which is frequented by the residents. The aim is to get people to pick up the ‘wishes’ from the tree and donate the amount. The proceeds go to the NGO, in collaboration with which the Wish Tree is put up. Over the years the Wish Tree has acquired many forms.
Pretty much like a marathon, the #DaanUtsav walkathon is where people from all kinds of backgrounds come together to walk for a common cause, or for a cause of their own. The entire community can be brought together to participate in this large-scale fundraising event!
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