On the Sunday afternoon of March 16th, more than 100 adults and children put on their jogging shoes and walked around the parking lot of Chinmaya Mission Bakersfield to the melodious and motivating chant of Om Namah Shivaya by Bindu Nair for the 8th Annual Walkathon for CORD.
Thanks to the numerous volunteers who worked under the leadership of Sujata Desai, participants were greeted with a festive food fair at the end of the walk with stalls selling delicacies from all over India like Vada Pav, Chole Bhatura, Pani Puris, Idli, and Dosas. While the adults had a hard time deciding where to indulge amid all these options, kids crowded the dessert stand where yummy ice cream sundaes, cookies, and brownies were being sold. All the food was prepared and donated by volunteers and the proceeds from it went to the fundraising for CORD. This event provided invaluable opportunity to the Chinmaya Mission families to work together in Yagna spirit for a good cause. Children learned the lesson of giving back to the community and were reminded that “for it is in giving that we receive.”
We were successfully able to raise $11,000, most of which will be donated to CORD, or Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development. CORD is a India-based non-profit organization that helps the disadvantaged transform their lives through self-help programs. The funds raised will be used to facilitate integrated, sustainable social help programs in local communities and in the Indian subcontinent through processes of self-empowerment and enrichment. In operation since 1985, CORD supports over 700 villages in Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, providing help to over 150,000 villagers.
In addition to providing aid in Indian subcontinent, this year we also decided to donate some funds for helping underprivileged children in our Bakersfield community by giving to non-profit organizations such as Friendship House and Jameson Center. We heartily thank everyone who donated generously and made this event successful and hope we can continue to extend help locally and abroad by raising more funds in the coming years.