Posts Tagged ‘Charity’

Pay It Forward

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Kavita painting classrooms in Jaipur, India

Have you seen this movie with Kevin Spacey? The theme was about doing something that really helps people. Something that they cannot do by themselves and something that you do for them that they in turn do for other people.

After crying buckets in the movie, I thought what a simple, yet amazing idea in that if someone does something for you no matter how big or small, you don’t pay it back…you pay it forward.

I’ve been very fortunate in my life in that I have been the recipient of many pay it forwards, and life has given me so much to be grateful for. Having done some hands on voluntary work in India in December 2006, and also reading with children for the charity Voluntary Reading Help locally, I wanted to do something again. I didn’t want to just give a monthly donation to a charity where the money would be swallowed up administration, I wanted to get involved.

India has always held a special place in my heart, a place where my parents are from. It’s cultural diversity, the coexistence of a number of religions, the mixture of traditional and modern and a place of extreme poverty and wealth. I came across the UK based Charity Children Walking Tall, which is dedicated to helping slum and street children in India.  What most impressed me about this charity was that it was a small charity, which was making a huge impact on the lives of children at grass root level, giving them a springboard out of poverty and a childhood worthwhile remembering.

I got in touch with the charity, checked their accounts and decided that this was a charity that I would like to get involved with. In February 2009, I announced to my team at Sparkle Dental Boutique that I would be away for three months.  After an initial “what will we do without you”, the team rallied around and have been incredibly supportive. All agreed to take their leave by September so that I could make this trip. We also took part in a team sponsored walk over the Bridges of London and raised about £1,900.00.

Sparkle Dental Boutique runs like clockwork with tried and tested systems in place..so am I nervous about leaving the practice? No, not at all. The team are fully trained and I know they will give it their all whilst I am away. It’s just a little crazy that three new people are joining Sparkle the week that I leave!!!

What will I be doing? I will be based in Mapusa, North Goa. Providing an informal education for the children is part of the work, as well as producing a huge range of activities for the children. Outreach work is done in two local slums where I will be involved in providing access to education and health care and nutrition.

Festivals in India are an integral part of people’s lives and whilst in India, celebrating two of the biggest festivals, Diwali and Christmas will be a real treat! I am also looking forward to time out from my daily routine.

My time away is self funded, so sorting out my mortgage payments, bills etc has been a chore. Getting jabs, visa’s, suitcases, anti malaria tablets and arts and crafts for the children is what I’ve been doing in the run up to my departure. I‘ve bought stencils, glitter, beads, buttons and giant jigsaw puzzles to take with me. Blue Peter eat your heart out!  I am also taking toothbrushes, toothpastes and tooth related activities so that I can help motivate the children to look after their teeth.

With just a few days to go before I leave…I am feeling very excited but also a little anxious. Last night I dreamt that I had nits in my hair!!!

Having told friends, family and patients that I am going away, I have been surprised by people’s generosity and support. I have also been amazed by how many people pay it forwards, quietly without any fuss, bother or thanks. They just do it!  Sometimes the simplest things can make the biggest difference and I’m thankful of this opportunity to pay it forward!

Kavita Verma, Boutique Manager

Sparkling Across the Bridges of London

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Sponsored Walk over the bridges of London, finishing at Tower Bridge

The team at Sparkle Dental Boutique, Hanwell will be hitting the streets of London on Sunday 26th July 2009, in aid of the UK Charity, Children Walking Tall (www.childrenwalkingtall.com)

Walking the bridges of London from Battersea Bridge to London Bridge an 11 mile walk with the aim of raising monies to help slum and street children in Goa, India, with food, education, medical facilities and shelter.

There are thousands of children living in slums and on the streets of Goa alone. Some are orphans, others are runaways escaping poverty or abuse. These children originate from all over India and often come with their families looking for work. They build basic homes from bamboo, plastic, cardboard or corrugated iron, forming slum communities on any spare land they can find.

Any monies raised will be used to provide, milk, fruit, vegetables as well as educational equipment for children and will be delivered in person by Kavita Verma, Boutique Manager at Sparkle. Kavita is taking a sabbatical for 3 months at the end of this year to volunteer her time with these children.

Kavita says `I am really looking forward to spending time with the children. It is something that I have wanted to do for ages. I have no doubt that it will be challenging but also very rewarding. I loved the work that Sunita and I did painting classrooms and playing with children over Christmas, in India two years ago. I am hoping that we manage to raise enough monies so that I can take some toys and possibly a lap top for educational purposes, when I go.” 

The team are already in training with some team members getting off a few stops earlier from their bus route and walking to the practice to serious walking practice over the weekends. The vocal chords are also being warmed up in preparation for singing!!

Watch out Britain’s Got Talent because the team at Sparkle certainly have!!! 

You can make a donation at http://www.mycharitypage.com/Kavita/

On average per month

Chicken & Eggs £37

Dry Provisions £55

Fish                    £17

Fruit                   £54

Milk                    £42

Rice                   £24

Vegetables         £36

Sparkle Supports Street Children in India

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Children Walking Tall

Sparkle Dental Boutique, Ealing is proud to be supporting Children Walking Tall (www.childrenwalkingtall.com).

Founded in 2004, Children Walking Tall is a registered UK charity dedicated to helping slum and street children in India. From their base in Goa, they provide food, shelter, medical care and education for some of the poorest children in India. In a safe, playful environment, they receive a fun and creative education, and also have plenty of time to do what children the world over should do, which is PLAY!

Children Walking Tall was established to give these children a springboard out of poverty. It aims to give the children something most have never had before: a childhood worth remembering.

Kavita Verma, Boutique Manager of Sparkle Dental Boutique says “As a practice we’ve always been involved in giving something back to the community whether it be running for Cancer Research, sponsored walks or volunteering in India by painting classrooms and teaching english.

We wanted to be involved in a charity, which is making a huge difference to the lives of some of the most poorest in the world and a charity where almost all the money is going directly to those who need it most. We are planning many fund raising events in 2009 which should make for a fun, action packed year!”

Charity Begins at Home!

Sunita, painting Lord Ganesh, the God of education, knowledge and wisdom in a classroom

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Sunita paints Lord Ganesh!

Two members of the Sparkle Dental Boutique, Ealing, Sunita Verma, Principal and Kavita Verma, Boutique Manager, both recently started voluntary work for Volunteer Reading Help, a nationally recognised charity at their local school. This involves reading with three children twice a week, to help improve reading skills, build confidence and self esteem. 

As a part of Sparkle’s goals to give back to the community, this builds on the voluntary work that they started earlier this year in Jaipur, India. Working with disadvantaged children in a remote village in India to teach English and to paint classrooms was an alternative Christmas well spent. Sunita says `Our accommodation was a hut made from cow dung and we had a few unexpected guests including bats, rats, mosquitos and field mice! Freezing temperatures, intermittent electricity and cold bucket baths meant that we certainly missed our home comforts….but the children were amazing! Their boundless enthusiasm and eagerness to learn was touching and their smiles warmed our hearts. The voluntary work was great and certainly brings you back down to reality! I can’t wait for my next trip’.