For the past six years, my family has been attending Hand in Hand events for where I was able to learn about the children living at the Balashram. Seeing presentations about these children’s’ lives made me realize that what separates me from them is very little, much of it luck. I became aware that I take so much for granted: ample food & clean water, access to quality education and, most importantly, the loving support of my family.
I was inspired to help support the work of the Balashram, making sure that as many kids as possible have access to the resources they need to become thriving adults.
At HIH events, I saw others selling art, cupcakes, stress balls, etc. to raise money. Initially, I struggled thinking of a way that I could contribute, but then after my family hosted a golf fundraiser – I realized that I could utilize one of my biggest passions, golf, to help fundraise. I began by soliciting golf-related donations for the auction at my family’s event: I convinced my golf coach to donate free lessons, I was able to get a golf club to contribute greens fees for a foursome and I even compelled my friend’s Dad to donate Titleist golf balls. After my initial success, I was excited to do more, and I designed yardage books for the golf course in which my family held the charity event. As I had played the course so many times and consistently achieved a low score, I also put together a guide to each of the holes and how to best play them called “My Perspective” and sold these to raise funds. In total, I have raised almost $1,500 in the last two years which has allowed 4 kids to attend school at the Balashram for a whole year. I’m excited to continue to support the work HIH does.
Education has such a significant impact on peoples’ lives and it’s amazingly sad to me that over 700 million people are illiterate because they don’t have access to quality education.
I hope that you’ll consider getting involved!
I am Salil, a 14-year-old Chicagoan, and an Indian American.