On any given Saturday afternoon, the courtyard in front of Silicon Valley Academy School is quiet and deserted. However, on Saturday, December 8, the square courtyard on Dunford Ave. in Sunnyvale, was bustling with activity and laughter. Families were gathered here for the GiveLight Bistro Event. It was the perfect place to taste foods from around the world, meet friends and gather children for unique and fun activities. The best part of all was that every penny raised was for a good cause: to benefit the orphans of GiveLight Foundation.
Each side of the square courtyard welcomed you with a culinary experience from a different continent—Asia, Africa, North America and Europe. Volunteers and sponsors donated their best creations. The many offerings from Asia included seekh kebabs from the Middle East, samosas from India, creamy ras malai from Pakistan and pitha (fried dough with banana and coconut flakes) from Bangladesh. Europe presented an array of lavish desserts including German chocolate cake, tiramisu from Italy and trifle from England. Africa’s diverse tables sold many original items including organic baklava from Egypt, beignets from Cameroon and bread from Somalia. America’s tables boasted original and traditional desserts like red velvet cake, pumpkin cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies.
As children enjoyed activities like face painting, henna and various crafts, families and friends savored the food with tea and coffee at the tables provided under the decorated canopies in the center. Throughout the afternoon, there were opportunities to attend the short seminar about GiveLight and how the organization changes orphans’ lives around the world. The volunteers put their heart and soul in creating and presenting the food. They smiled and explained every item—ingredients, origins and traditional stories about the foods. Dian Alyan, the founder of GiveLight, was like a butterfly and never paused in a place for too long. She made sure to greet and thank everyone personally—sponsors, volunteers and visitors. Like other GiveLight events, people left with a warm feeling of donating to a worthy cause and with a memory of a great time.