Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jan 24, 2013 8:59 PM Last Post By: MTL
Jan 20, 2013 11:45 AM
Bringing giftsHi Everyone!
I just bought a ticket to spend February and March in south India! I was thinking it would be nice to bring some gifts to give away in Mumbai when I land. I'll have plenty of room in my pack. I know this is a contentious topic, but I am looking for thoughts on things I could bring and an organization to give them to. I was thinking children's books (in English) could be a nice gift for a school or other non-profit, maybe pencils and paper? I also like the idea of giving things to kids on the street. (Yes, I know many don't agree with that, but I love the idea of throwing down a blanket and handing out books or other useful things to street kids.)
So, here are my questions:
Ideas for useful gifts for an organization or for individual kids (other than money)?
An organization in Mumbai that works with kids and/or teenagers that would take donations of items. (I work with kids and teens at home, so I'd also like to spend a couple days helping out at the organization.)
Jan 20, 2013 12:44 PM
1Hey Hi There it seems to be a very Generous thought of you..... i do know some non profit organisation like "Make a wish mumbai" that would accept your gifts or allow you to distribute it among poor children suffering from life threatining Diseases .... if i can suggest you some gifts that wud include the ones which you mentioned Except childrens book...... Childrens will love pencils sketch pens colour pads or choclates etc..... do let me know incase you need anykindof help from my side @ email@example.com .
Jan 20, 2013 5:12 PM
2You could have a look at http://www.salaamstreetkids.org/
Jan 22, 2013 2:23 AM
3The best would be to decide what to give when you actually land in India and when you meet the organisations and groups that you intend to visit. They may have some current requirements or some thing that they have still not been able to have. Also you can buy things that you may want to donate in India itself at a far lesser cost than to bring them from abroad. Its less a matter of having space in your luggage since you actually want to help them you can decide it only when you are there. Wishing you best in your effort.
Jan 22, 2013 2:31 PM
4Thanks everyone. I contacted and heard back from Akanksha, a school in Mumbai that provided high quality education to low income students. I'll be bringing donations from individuals, stores, and the school I work at, as well as teaching for the day. If anyone wants to join me in handing out toys on the street, it's sure to be a wild few minutes.
Jan 22, 2013 2:41 PM
Jan 22, 2013 2:43 PM
6I decided on Akanksha, a non-proft school that works with low-income students. I'll be bringing donations from myself, others, shops, and the school I work at, as well as teaching a few lessons while there. I'm also bringing toys (cheap, from the thrift store) to give away in the street. It's sure to be a wild few minutes, so let me know if anyone wants to join in...
Jan 23, 2013 9:37 PM
7Good, Akanksha is great, and supports many many schools.
However, it is crazy to fly paper and pens and notebooks to India from your home country, when there are so many available here and so much cheaper. Childrens books would be better, but even those I find a wide selection available in Delhi (surely also Mumbai), though you'd get a different selection at home so it could be good.
I haven't seen good quality art supplies for sale in Delhi though, only crummy common coloured pencils and crayons, so if you want to bring something not available here, bring high quality intense coloured crayons or pencils.
But paper and notebooks and ball point pens from your home country are a total waste of jet fuel and money. Get them at the nearest stationers from your hotel on landing.
Jan 24, 2013 6:44 AM
8it sounds like you're mor concerned about getting the warm fuzzies about yourself than actually making a positive impact.
don;t bring 'books, pencils, paper. You can buy all of that here for a fraction of the price. Why schlep it halfway around the world? By buying them locally you also support the local economy- the shopkeeper and his family.
Also, only 10% of the population speaks English- books in teh local language (Hindi, Marathi) are perhaps even more important than those in English.
You also risk being swarmed by very persistent kids, who will, not very nicely, demand more gifts. And you are encouraging the same behaviour every time they seem another foreigner (like me!)
All in all this is romantic, naive, but ultimately selfish behaviour that doesn't do any long-term good but you can feel so good about yourself.
Donating to a charity is a completely different story. There are many reputable ones and if you bring gifts (which can be bought locally) it will be much appreciated. I would encourage you to take that route instead.
Jan 24, 2013 7:40 PM
9I am bringing donations from the school I work at and staff there. It may seem to you like a waste of fuel, but I see it as a sharing of resources and the beginning of a relationship between the schools. And yes, Akanksha does have a need for English-language books.
To be honest, I am surprised there are not more people preaching at me about how evil I am. I've heard the arguments against giving to street kids. I disagree. I have spent quite a bit of time over the years in many countries, and have worked with homeless teenagers in the states and in general my philosophy is to meet people where they are at. Books to kids in school. Toys to kids in the street. If you are drawn to make the world better in other ways - more power to you. If you want to rant about it on thorn tree - I'll say my peace and move on. Peace.
Jan 24, 2013 8:12 PM
10We have carried up to 250 pounds of school supplies to various countries we have visited. There are not words to express the experiences that we have had with the people that we were able to give these items to. It is easy to just say that you can buy these items in country. Sometimes that is not possible and it is far better to bring them if you are able to transport them yourself.
Paulabo- I applaud your efforts and good luck with your trip. We are going in February as well and well definitely be doing something as well with a school or orphanage.
Jan 24, 2013 8:59 PM
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