Vibha Dallas had around 20 events since the beginning of 2021, with their youth and adult volunteers contributing around 3000 hours, towards school counseling, science fair, writing camp, food drives, bake sale, fast food fundraisers & hygiene/ books/ blanket/ recycling drives.
The year began with an initiative related to climate change that sought to eliminate a number of toxic wastes sent to the landfills to stop the release of greenhouse gasses. The youth volunteers did this by collecting old electronic devices and delivering them to electronic recycling centers, and by donating used Indian clothing to One Earth One Chance (a nonprofit working towards responding to the environmental change and reforestation). Together, the volunteers donated over 300 electronic items and reached a hallmark in donating over 600 clothes to the nonprofit.
Initiative for homeless people– In partnership with Tango Tab (a nonprofit marketplace that works in a partnership with its partnered organizations and restaurants to provide people in need with fresh and nutritious meals), the Dallas team worked towards donating premade lunchboxes to support the homeless population of the city.
Irving (Dallas) Clean-up Initiative
In partnership with the Pearson Project (a nonprofit based in Texas, serving homeless on the streets of Dallas and Denton by providing them with food, hygiene kits, blankets, and other essential things like socks and jackets), the volunteers conducted a hygiene drive and donated over 1500 items, including handmade crocheted soap sacks as a part of this drive to uplift the living conditions of homeless people in Dallas. The volunteers also worked with a nonprofit named Hunger Mitao in the beginning of this year and donated enough food for about 2000 meals.
As a part of initiatives for education support, the volunteers continued to participate in the Study Buddy Program in partnership with the Pale Blue Dot Foundation and have been tutoring Bhutanese refugee children by teaching them English and Mathematics. Vibha Dallas has also recently undertaken a new ‘Pair 2 Care’ campaign cooperatively with Community Outreach Program in Mumbai, India (CORP-one of Vibha’s longest standing partner organizations) where the youth volunteers of the Dallas action center will
Science Fair Winner – Arhaan Shreni
work together with the volunteers from other action centers of Vibha to mentor the street children of Mumbai, providing them with basic, quality education. The youth volunteers also organized a 4-week-long assay writing workshop for these children to impart them with knowledge of systematic assay writing. They also planned a virtual science contest for young scientists around the globe and had a panel of 8 judges (some from Texas Instruments- a science and tech company and a longtime partner of Vibha, and some experienced Vibha volunteers) to grade the projects.
The volunteer group also organized spring counseling sessions for providing guidance to high school freshman and middle school students to making informed course selection. The counseling team provided insightful information to over 30 families, educating not only the students, but also their parents about making informed course selections. The volunteers also made about 45 book recordings and donated 300 books to United Way Dallas and to local some schools and libraries.
The action center also partnered with another organization, called Mudras in Motion and held two therapeutic sessions mainly for elderly people and people with special needs. These sessions were mainly aimed towards teaching to relieve stress by utilizing Indian classical dance mudras (hand gestures), facial expressions and specific vocabulary used in traditional Indian dance forms.
Alongside of all above drives and initiatives towards the betterment of the city as a whole as well as betterment of the underprivileged children in India and other countries like Bhutan, the Dallas volunteers also organized events, like bake sale, fast food fundraisers and food drives to raise funds for the underprivileged communities. Altogether by planning all these events, the volunteers have been able to raise about $3000 so far. And now they are all pumped up and are looking forward to planning more such events during the rest of the year.