AN APPEAL BY CHAIR PERSON
Dear Friend, Namaste! On behalf of my colleagues at HACSI, and my own personal behalf, I convey my Best wishes for good health and prosperity to you and everyone in your family in this festive Season!
I am happy to report to you that HACSI continues to make progress in its Mission of mobilizing the “Spirit of Giving” of Hindu Americans to the poor and needy in the community in which we live. Its “flagship” program is, as you know, Feeding the Homeless. With the help of thirty-one partner organizations, HACSI organized the preparation of a total of 110,000 meals on twenty-three days during the last twelve months at the D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK) in Washington D.C. HACSI accounts for close to six percent of the 1.86 million meals cooked annually in DCCK. What is distinct about HACSI’s engagement is that in addition to donating funds, all the meals are cooked by volunteers of HACSI and its partners. HACSI’s own financial contribution to this program has averaged $40,000/year during the last two years.
Another core activity of HACSI is the Benevolent Fund which helps members of the Hindu Community who face financial difficulties due to unforeseen calamities. In the last nine months of this year, HACSI has provided over $19,000 to five families, virtually exhausting the accumulated Fund. There is, therefore, an urgent need to augment the Benevolent Fund by a minimum of $25,000 this year. In addition to financial help, HACSI volunteers provide other types of support such as supplying food, transportation, medical and legal help. This is manpower-intensive and we request those who are able to help to get in touch with me or one of HACSI’s directors.
HACSI has been involved in providing a variety of services to Bhutanese refugees who were resettled in the Washington-Baltimore area. At its peak, there were nearly 1,750 refugees in our area, but about half of them are either well-settled or have migrated to other parts of the country. HACSI continues to serve the remaining 700-800 who live in our area. HACSI’s assistance consists of supplying cooking utensils and winter clothing to new arrivals, providing school supplies to school children, organizing medical camps to provide free flu vaccines and medical consultation for those lacking health insurance; and providing information on job openings in the area and providing connections with prospective employers. While HACSI’s financial outlay on support to Bhutanese community is diminishing, the community continues to rely on HACSI as a major source of non-material support.
HACSI has supported inter-faith education because of its commitment to balanced presentation of Hinduism in US schools. A few like-minded individuals provided $26,500 to HACSI to support teacher-training workshops based on Auteur Productions’ PBS documentary “The Asian and Abrahamic Religions: A divine Encounter in America”. The workshops were also supported by Council of Hindu Temples of North America, New York. The final workshop in the program is scheduled in December 2016 during the meeting of National Conference of Social Studies. The meeting to be held in Washington D.C is expected to be attended by 3,500 teachers. With this, HACSI would have exhausted all the funds earmarked for inter-faith education. We appeal to all those who are committed to Hinduism education to provide funds to enable HACSI to continue this work. An annual budget of $25,000 is proposed for the coming year.
HACSI participated in the effort to send Care packages for US soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in Dec 2015. In addition, HACSI provided festival food for the first ever Diwali Celebration at Fort Meade in 2015.
HACSI has been active in supporting relief efforts Internationally as well. In Dec 2015 HACSI raised $17,045 for the victims of the flood in Chennai, India through a fund raising event in collaboration with SSVT, India Forum Inc., and Hunt Valley Indian Foundation and added $6,000 from its own resources. HACSI disbursed those funds in 2015 and 2016. Two of HACSI’s Directors personally visited Chennai and ensured that the donated funds were used directly for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims. Funds were disbursed to Ramakrishna Mission, Hindu Mission hospitals in Thambaram and Nanganallur, and SankaraNethralaya, and Annamalai University Engineering & Technology Alumni Association (AUETTA) for providing medical supplies, daily anna danam (food) for the affected victims.
In April 2016 HACSI led a campaign working with SSVT to raise funds, medical and clothing supplies for the victims of Ecuador earthquake. The materials collected were shipped to Ecuador through the Ecuador consulate in Washington DC.
In conclusion, HACSI is striving its utmost to serve the community; and this would not have been possible without your support. We thank for your continued support over the years. Our goal is to raise $100,000 this year to meet the proposed operational budget for 2017. We appeal to you to continue your support to HACSI both with funds and, equally important, volunteering your time! Please send your tax deductible donations to HACSI, 11412, Swains Creek CT. Potomac, MD 20854. You can also donate on-line at www.hacsiusa.org.
With Best Regards
Dr. Seetaramayya Nagula (Ram), Chair Person, HACSI
November 25, 2016