The Home of Hope organization, a grass root nonprofit founded by Indian American Dr. Nilima Sabharwal in 1999 that provides educational opportunities to empower disadvantaged and underprivileged youth, held a fundraising event Sept. 28 at the India Community Center in Milpitas, California, and the result has the organization well on its way to reaching its $1 million goal.
The outpouring of support at the event, attended by more than 300 guests, resulted in $200,000 raised.
To date, the organization has raised $850,000, leaving them just $150,000 shy of their $1 million goal by the end of the year.
Sabharwal, who has been doing the fundraising events for the organization for nearly two decades, opened up the event by explaining to the attendees that she stands “in front like a gate keeper because I don’t want to miss anyone. Each person entering the hall is special because they each have the power to change a life.”
Organization president Neelam Bhavnani was very passionate and firm in saying that Home of Hope is now reaching the $1 million mark “but continues to be still grass roots, all volunteer based, office is trunk of founder Nilima’s car, and we are serving the dregs of society that no one wants to help,” according to the organization news release.
Sabharwal further elaborated, saying, “We have embraced these special children who were cruelly labeled as retarded dumb curse.”
“I feel proud to raise my hand which also represents the entire HOH team and we can say with confidence that all of us have realized the unrealized potential of these children,” she said, noting the Pingalwara project brought to the organization by former board member Amrita Sethi in 2004.
Pingalwara is best described as a charity heaven for the destitute population, located in Amritsar close to the Golden Temple, the organization noted.
HOH further enhanced this program by partnering with Berkeley, Calif.-based CEID (Center for Early Intervention Deafness) to create the innovative cross fertilization/knowledge sharing program where the team at Berkeley took the program to new heights.
Today, HOH is funding outreach programs, thanks to donors such as the Ravi Oswal family, Iqbal Gill, and Sonu, where children like Sukhman and Inderjeet have been rescued, it said. Because of limited funds we have only been able to help four villages. Unfortunately, there are at least 15,340 villages in Punjab where five-to-six people are hearing impaired in each village, and with no schools for the hearing impaired, it said.
During the event, leaders of Home of Hope spoke on the impact it has had on children in underprivileged areas, pulling at the heartstrings of the potential donors.
HOH also noted at the event that it has launched its Legacy Giving Program. The Legacy Program has three categories: Recognition and Appreciation; an In Memorium fund in memory of a loved one; and the third is setting up a provision for charitable giving in a trust vehicle.
The HOH board was pleased that they had already received their first 'Recognition and Appreciation' Legacy from the Dr. Mirch Scholarship from mother Priya Mirchandani, to honor her very successful son Dr. Amit Mirchandani. Today that scholarship has educated over 20 slum children. Five In Memoriam Legacies have also been donated, as well as a Legacy fund in the memory of Sharad Bhave towards the Mijwan Village Sports program.
HOH explains that even $50 a year can change the life of a young adult in Teela Village, Uttarkhand. Two thousand dollars translates to providing two kids a full year tuition in an IT course that can net them a Rs 20,000 rupees/month job, the organization explained. That same money could also assist 20 kids to learn a vocation such as in hospitality, cellphone repair, and beautician which can yield a Rs 10,000 per month job.
HOH has re-defined the meaning of grass roots with all volunteers, no paid staff, and no office while also spend their own personal money to get the message across.
It has surpassed its goal of educating 1,000 by 2020, and has upped that goal to 2,000 by 2020.
The event also featured an entertainment program.
HOH collaborates with organizations in India that exemplify integrity, accountability and commitment to impactful change. The myriad programs serve over 30,000 children of all ages. All projects provide quality education for children, specifically girls, through four core areas: computer education, vocational training, disability and mental health, and K-12 education.
For more information on HOH, visit www.hohinc.org or call 1-650-520-3204.