By: Sandhya Honnavalli
There are a lot of “firsts” in life, don’t you agree? Some, we look forward to with much anticipation. Some are just out of the blue and we are caught totally unaware. Then there are some others where we know are coming, but don’t know quite what to expect. Well, one such “first” for me was on Saturday, the 24th of January, a beautiful crisp afternoon, when I drove to Haggard Library in Plano to attend a meeting with Vibha Dallas Volunteer group.
Finding the room was a piece of cake, thanks to the two able youth volunteers at the door, greeting and guiding the incoming crowd to the meeting room. It was great to see a room full of kids, teenagers and adults seated there. Everybody’s weekends are busy and precious these days and for some reason, two-day weekends seem to be never enough! In spite of that, it felt good to see that all these people had taken time out of their Saturday schedule to come attend this meeting. Talk about commitment and dedication towards a great cause, right? At that minute, I somehow knew that things were headed in the right direction.
After the initial welcome, meet and greet and introduction of newcomers, facilitated by youth volunteer Aakash, we delved straight into business. Prathibha, the bubbly, cheerful lead, spoke briefly about Vibha, a non-profit organization that strives to help uplift under privileged kids, both in India and the US. Action Center Co-ordinators, who were present at the meeting, took turns explaining the general functional and operational logistics of Vibha. They also briefly spoke about a few different projects like Vidyarambham, Canned Food Drive etc. It was interesting to learn how the time and efforts of volunteers here, reaches and impacts the underprivileged in India. What stood out as a striking factor was the enthusiasm with which all the ACCs spoke! It was also inspiring to see some of the youth volunteers talk about how they had served the community through Vibha this past year, which in turn had earned them their service hours.
Next was the talk about Vibha’s upcoming and exciting, very first “big” event of the year, the Kite Flying Festival. Who doesn’t love to fly a kite? March is just the perfect time too, with Spring just setting in. Besides understanding a bit about the Science behind making and flying kites, it seemed like a great crowd-puller, fun-filled, outdoor event for the whole family. It was a way to reach out to the mass and spread awareness about Vibha, while flying a kite and having fun with friends and family in the community! Not just that, face painting, talent show, mehendi etc were all going to be on the agenda for the day, seemed like! Great ways to get many volunteers involved.
Well, to me, it seemed like this was just one example of what could happen when a group of like-minded people, willing to dedicate their time, energy and efforts towards a great cause, come together to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged kids. Let us learn to give some and not take too much all the time.