“We are truly unaware of how blessed we are, until we witness how much less someone else has.” – Ami DoshiFew months ago, I learnt about the environment that most ex-devadasi's in India face and wanted to help spread the word and perhaps encourage others to do the same. I was inspired by the goals of the Hope Project and that 100% of all the contributions benefit the borrower. I also loved the fact that I could track the impact of each dollar. Once I set up my fundraiser page, it was fascinating to see how inspired other people were as well.
Inspired by Ami's story? Click Here to support a mother in need.It was exciting and humbling to see momentum build as the word about my campaign spread through my Facebook page and via my personal emails. It was fun to watch other people be inspired and encouraged by our collective movement. It's contagious. I remember checking constantly to see if anyone else had supported or if anyone had been inspired to start their own campaigns. I also found that I had everyone's eyes on my campaign for a second, so it was a good way for me to share information on the devadasi tradition in India and what amazing strides our Milaap borrowers had taken.This campaign took a whole new dimension for me when my little ones decided to pitch in. Usually, we struggle with ways to instill empathy in our children and show them we live a charmed life that we should be grateful for. Starting a fundraiser on Milaap was a really fun way to introduce this concept to them. My son, Cyrus, 6 years old, decided that he too wanted to SHARE some of his piggy bank money with my Milaap HOPE project campaign. We sat down and opened up his "SHARE" box (three jars - share, save and spend), and he counted out $51 as his contribution. The $1 dollar is for luck. This is the first time he has cracked open his "Share" box. We also walked through how $0.50 is A LOT less than $50. We discussed the concept of relative value with how it relates to a carton of chocolate milk and a fancy box of Legos. Azara, his little sister, wanted to get in on the fun so we made it into a coin sorting game with her! Such great lessons for us to learn together as a family! I encourage all of you to do the same!Teaching kids empathy also develops an intuition to be compassionate, be good to others and learn to communicate and respect those different from you. My advice to families looking to instill a natural sense of empathy is to include them in your giving, make your goals be their goals and introduce the idea of giving early as it becomes part of a tradition in your family. Make giving a fun activity, a way for the whole family to be together. As a family, we help out with Habitat for Humanity, where the kids help paint the walls of someone's new home. We also love volunteering our time with Meals on Wheels, where we get to go in a psychedelic painted super bus and deliver warm meals to residents in low income housing complexes. The kids love to sing "meals on wheels" when the residents open their doors. Introduce the idea of giving to kids in units of value they can understand, break it down. Involving your kids in your own giving is the best first step!
- Ami Doshi is 37 years old and lives with her husband and two kids in Dallas, Texas.