In 2005, I had only known Dian, GiveLight’s founder, for 2 years, but in that short time, I had already learned how much love and care she had in her heart for others. It was only when the earthquake and tsunami devastated Indonesia and personally affected Dian and her loved ones, however, that I truly realized how much love, care, and hard work Dian was capable of. Dian used all that she had – from her business skills to her personal network – and turned her pain and sorrow into efforts to help the most helpless of the tsunami’s victims – the orphans. It was during this seminal effort that my love for GiveLight, and the orphans it supports, began to grow.
In 2005, Dian’s enthusiasm, passion, and love inspired so many others like me to help launch GiveLight and she continues to inspire volunteers and donors all over the world today. Even though I eventually moved to another part of the Bay Area, and wasn’t able to see Dian regularly, I was able to stay connected with Dian and GiveLight’s efforts and growth via social media. I continued to be inspired to support GiveLight however I could during that time.
In 2014, my oldest child was in Kindergarten at Northstar School. During the month of Rabi al-Awwal, which is when the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) was born, parents from the class wanted to do something special to help connect the kids to him. We talked to the children in my son’s Kindergarten class about how the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said, “The one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in Paradise like this,” and he held his two fingers together to illustrate. We wanted to inspire the kids to love to help others and used this opportunity to introduce them to GiveLight’s mission. In cooperation with the school, we decided to host a bake sale as a class and donate all of the proceeds to GiveLight. That first sale in 2014 was a beautiful success, thank God.
Parents, students, and staff were happy to support the fundraiser to help Givelight’s orphans. Between sales and donations, we raised approximately $500 that year, and with corporate matching, we were able to donate $1000.
Since then, we have continued this tradition of hosting a bake sale at the school during Rabi al-awwal. During the pandemic, however, for safety reasons, we had to adjust our approach. Local businesses like IniBurger, Mirchi’s and Zareen’s donated gift cards to their businesses, and with the Northstar community’s support, we were able to sell these vouchers, as well as local artists’ products. During that first year of the pandemic where we feared we wouldn’t be able to do much, we were able to raise approximately $1000, which we also got matched. This year again, in 2021, we followed the same approach and raised almost $1500, so with corporate matching, we raised $3000 for Givelight. Our total donation amount from these small Rabi al-awwal fundraisers over the past 9 years is approximately $6,000, so with corporate matching, the Northstar community (parents, kids, and staff) has raised approximately $12,000.
My son’s class, which is graduating 8th grade this year, along with the Northstar School community, has been honored to be able to support Givelight’s efforts and be a tiny drop in the ocean of its goodness. Northstar School loves to support Givelight’s mission. Students have helped raise money for other campaigns, including the “Blanket of Love” drive. These fundraisers have become a school tradition and we hope it will continue, as Dian and Givelight’s mission to support orphans across the world, is dear to our hearts. Our 2016 bake sale included cocoa mix cones with decorations by the kids.
Thank you, GiveLight Foundation for honoring Northstar by recognizing our school as a supporter. However, more importantly, Northstar should be thanking GiveLight for providing an avenue for us to use the gifts bestowed upon us to share with those in need.