NJ based foundation fund in $ 65,000 for Indian projects
By siliconindia | Tuesday, 19 October 2010, 18:35 Hrs
New Jersey: Share and Care, a New Jersey based nonprofit that focuses on education and health-care projects targeted at poor women and youth in India, raised $65,000 in its 28th fundraising gala at State Theater in New Brunswick. The event was attended by some 1,200 people and apart from raising this amount at a preliminary level, a donor pledged $100,000 if the organization could secure matching grants from others. The organizers are expecting a fundraising of $ 1 million by Christmas. The gala also included an awards ceremony that recognized major donors. Share and Care also honored Dr. Sudhir Parikh, the publisher of Desi Talk who serves on its advisory board, for having received the Padma Shri award this year. Share and Care which was founded in 1982 has been vital in boosting many Indian lives, best examples being Aakash Patel a 21-year-old from India who got placed in a job in Godrej Company for a starting salary of $5,000 a year - about five times what his whole family was making before he started his fellowship. It is also cause to celebrate for the group's volunteers and co-founders like Arun and Sudha Bhansali and the five other families who started Share and Care. The foundation has supported 350 students so far. Share and Care estimates around 5,000 such students in Gujarat alone, and it wants to help 1,000 of them next year. "This year's event can be ranked among our top five in the last 25 years," Arun Bhansali said. "Our target this year is to raise support for our Higher Education Support Trust (HEST) program, where we support poor students who are unable to pay for college." Its 'Educate to Graduate' program, or HEST, is one of several that has shown concrete results and was the signature program taken at this year's gala."Because of donors like you I have been blessed to receive a wonderful education," Patel, a HEST student, is quoted as saying in the publicity material. In Share and Care's first graduating class of 28 students, seven are engineers, three are doctors, some are pharmacists and some computer scientists. Salaam India, a musical drama starring Lushin Dubey, was the highlight of the 28th fundraising gala of Share and Care whose core group is composed of some 40 volunteers from different backgrounds and disciplines - medical and health professionals, administrators, finance specialists, businesspersons and engineers. The organization estimates it has touched the lives of some 500,000 women and children who benefit from its programs annually.