During Ramadan, we initiated small campaigns through social media, our website and community mosques to raise awareness about our work and remind our supporters to “save the date” for our 10th Anniversary Celebration on November 21st, 2015. In lieu of fundraising events, we focused on being present and reminding our audience of our efforts and our commitment to excellence in all that we do.
Our supporters donated $20 for the children’s Eid clothes and shoes, and $75-$100 toward sponsoring a special iftar in one of our homes.
We were in awe and humbled by the tremendous outcome. The outpouring of donations, ranging in amount from $5 to $50,000, translated to more than $250,000, doubling the amount raised last year. Again and again, we witnessed God’s infinite mercy on the work we are blessed to do. We saw unprecedented generosity, which fueled our desire to work even harder.
Many of those who were unaware of our work before learned about GiveLight through their trusted friends. Upon doing their own research, they decided we were worthy of their trust. As a result, we gained more support and were able to meet that many more goals.
With the exception of the children in Haiti and Samoa who do not observe the fasting ritual of Ramadan, we were able to provide the following for the GiveLight children:
1. An iftar dinner each night with a special menu of the children’s favorite dishes, courtesy of your donations as well as those of their neighbors.
2. New clothes and shoes, and special trips to visit relatives or sightsee about town.
3. Extra pocket money for their savings account.
The children’s happiness for the annual Eid celebration was multiplied tenfold this year with the thoughtful gifts they received after a whole month of fasting. See pictures of joy and smiling faces from our homes here.
We also wanted to do something special for GiveLight’s local orphans in the Bay Area.After finding out what they loved and wished to have for Eid, we posted a request on Facebook. Within the hour we raised more funds than needed to buy everything on the list. Our supporters’ enthusiasm was contagious as friends competed to buy specific gifts (Lego Hobbit, for instance) for the children and raced to purchase Amazon gift cards. We even had one supporter willing to sponsor $50 gifts for all 13 children. Seeing that we had exceeded our quota for local needs, he later agreed to redirect the funds to Cambodia and sponsor new shoes for all our children.It was beautiful to see how eager everyone was to contribute.
A few of us from the GiveLight Team convened at a friend’s house later to wrap all the gifts. The following day, our founder, Dian Alyan, began her personal visits with the children to present them with the generous gifts. Given the continual outpouring of support, we plan to expand our reach to more orphans, some of whom are in the foster care system in the Bay Area and other cities where we already have a strong presence. We found so much joy and happiness in sharing our blessings with the children, and we are confident that others would like to share in it too. Until next Ramadan, we thank you all for your amazing generosity. May the Source of all mercy continue to bless you throughout the year. Ameen.
Dian and the GiveLight family