Covid Relief Work – Chennai, India
Over the past year & a half – we have faced one of the most challenging, confusing & scary times ever seen before.
Save for a few exceptions, the governments of most countries came under fire for their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic – from questions about why there haven’t been any pre-existing protocols to address a widespread disease outbreak – to now all the talk about vaccine distributions.
When we were in the thick of things, we realised that many NGOs & other organisations that work to better the lives of those less fortunate were facing insurmountable problems.
These organisations ordinarily depend on donations to support themselves & the people who live within their four walls. But when the lockdowns struck – these donations dried up vastly.
That’s When We Stepped In
We realised that crowdfunding could step up in a big way to get the word out to the public – & hopefully, reinstate some funds to these organisations.
But we weren’t sure how to get started, we were already running campaigns for organisations individually – but we constantly received calls from different people & causes. This made effective management & timely delivery of supplies a challenge.
So we ultimately decided to create one campaign – our Covid Relief campaign – to address these needs. We would raise money for this fund & distribute them as needed.
We were sure that we would receive some donations, but we were pleasantly surprised to see our campaigns’ tremendous response! People poured in with so much support that we were able to help far more than we thought we would initially have been able to do!
In the spirit of full disclosure, we compiled a report to let our donors – & the public at large – know exactly where & how we used the funds raised. So, here are some of the highlights from our Covid Relief Report!
With the Funds Raised, We:
1. Distributed Close To 36,000 Hot Meals:
Between May – June 2021, we distributed hot, nutritious meals with water to the people stuck outside government hospitals across Chennai.
These people were waiting – under the blazing sun – for information on their family members or admission themselves & had no access to fresh food or water!
We quickly found ourselves distributing nearly 1000 meals per day to vulnerable families living in these & remote areas.
2. Distributed Ration Packets:
Working in collaboration with local NGOs such as Turning Point, Shine Trust etc., we identified 1000 families who desperately needed help.
These families had special needs, no income, were single parents’ homes, the elderly, pregnant mothers, the differently-abled, or those who lost their breadwinners to COVID.
A typical ration packet contained daal, rice, masalas, cooking oil, hygiene items, Dettol, sanitisers & masks.
At the time of publishing this article, we are still distributing these packets to the countless families who continue to struggle. It will undoubtedly take them a while longer to get themselves back on their feet.
3. Provided Medical Aid:
We procured & distributed masks, protective gear, sanitisers & gloves to organisations, police stations, free clinics, & other frontline workers.
We also donated oxygen concentrators & purchased medication for eldercare centres & orphanages for children with special needs.
In addition, in free clinics, we could distribute oximeters to Covid positive patients who couldn’t afford them.
4. Supported Helpless Animals:
In collaboration with the Besant Memorial Animal Dispensary, we raised money to feed helpless stray animals. During the lockdown, animals on the street had no access to food & water because all the roadside vendors were closed.
We raised enough money to distribute 1400 kgs of dog food & 196 kgs of cat food.
During the second wave, the beach horse owners had no source of income, & while they were fending for themselves, their beach horses were also adversely affected.
With funds raised, we managed to distribute 2720 Kg of horse food!
And We Aren’t Done Yet!
We are so thankful to all our donors for the generous contributions that they made to this cause. It’s only with their help & support that we managed to do any of this fantastic relief work.
But we can’t stop now, the pandemic has left deep scars in our society, & it’s up to all of us to come together to do what we can to help bring those less fortunate out of this situation.
No amount of help is ever too small or insignificant – remember – a little always goes a long way.