Sorrow, imagination, empathy, inspiration………and ultimately people. That’s what got this relatively quiet introverted person out of her comfort zone to organize a fundraiser for our beloved Nepal. Event Organiser would be somewhere on my list of nightmare jobs but somehow that’s what I did. It’s made realize that if you care intensely about something you really can do things that you might normally run a mile from.
Feeling deeply about the people affected by the earthquake in Nepal, reading about the tragedies unfolding in the mountains where whole villages have been destroyed, imagining what it must be like, worrying about the start of the monsoon, seeing friends starting doing what they knew was right….moving to help in any way they could near the epicenter; with amazing compassion, organsiation and effectiveness. I knew I couldn’t be there but I wanted to raise some money to help them help the people of Nepal…..but how?
A wonderful local friend Bec started making prayer flags #prayerflagsfornepal, raising over $10,000. Amazing and creative lady that she is, she just wanted to do something, thought of it, acted and, having a huge social media following, it snowballed. Cue initial feelings of extreme inadequacy but then it got me thinking about what I do have to draw upon……. I’ve lived here for 7 years now (longer than anywhere else!) and its dawned on me that I really do feel part of this great community and so the idea formed to organize an evening to celebrate that……. To show what we can do we when we act together, to feel positive when faced with the overwhelming situation in Nepal, to be thankful for where we live and of course to enjoy some yummy food and watch a beautiful film celebrating one of Nepal’s many cultures (Download Himalaya by Eric Valli if you haven’t seem it, an amazing insight into life in Dolpo in North West Nepal). Our Film and Curry night idea was born.
So feeling a bit scared I went to ask Samudra, a beautiful cafe and yoga centre, if they would be up for organizing this with me. They said yes without hesitation, no persuasion needed. Their cafe space, yoga room and staff time generously donated. I walked out with a spring in my step, a smile replacing my earlier gloom and depression at the seeming enormity of the task ahead.
I met Carmen whilst sewing prayer flags with Bec. An artist, she wanted to donate a picture for Nepal. We had goods we wanted to raffle, so that was that one starting. Having someone to share this work with and bounce ideas off was amazing. Businesses we approached were forthcoming, generous and really wanted to help, they referred us to others. Individuals spontaneously donated. Wow. All ready to go.
......And then everyone arrived on the night. Yey. Over 160 pots of curry served. Raffle tickets brought and bids placed. A huge cross section of our town – young to old and all in between, Samudra regulars and less regulars, friends and strangers. We raised $3730. I am so proud of everyone involved. None of it would have happened if we hadn’t all played our part.
It taught me that it’s good to ask. That people really do want to help a good cause. If you’ve got the idea and believe in what you are doing then just start asking. I was so nervous calling the local paper but they jumped to come and photograph us so they could get the story out the next day. I arranged my own wedding so that we didn’t have to invite any guests yet here was an event full to bursting.
I am so pleased we could send some money to help Karma Flights and Waves for Water. Two organisations working right where it matters in Nepal. Seeing what they had achieved in so short a space of time, seeing the amazing resilience of the Nepalese affected by the earthquake all pushed me to push myself out of my comfort zone, even if in a much less extreme way. We are all capable of more than we think. So when you are wondering whether to act or not, if you really have the skills or capabilities….…well……..if you believe in the reason you are doing it I say go for it and you might just be surprised at what you achieve.
Now I’m off to sleep for a couple of days!
Here a family in Gorkha can finally relax safe and dry for the monsoon ahead in a temporary shelter funded by Karma Flights. A shelter like this costs about $125.
Shop our dream catchers to help Karma Flights. ALL money from the sale of dreamcatchers will be donated to Karma Flights to help directly in the Gorkha region of Nepal.