It all started 3 weeks ago, when we were in the thick of exams. Anaga was preparing for her 10th and Ananya for her 6th. In between answering questions on Ashoka and Buddhism, Ananya was busy scribbling down a menu card. “What are you doing?”, I asked. “Mummy, this is for the charity sale for Easter. Shika and I are getting it ready.”
I brushed it off as another attempt by Ananya to avoid studying! Not really. 3 weeks and umpteen cupcakes, sandwiches and custard cups later, she and her cousin have collected an amazing Rs 3200 from the sale. Rs 800 came from some craft items Ananya and her friends made, while the rest came from the food.
But more than the actual money they made (ahem….I spent almost that at Reliance!), what amazed me was Ananya’s planning and execution……She had everything ready on the day of the sale – April 5. She had already gone to all our neighbors and told them about the sale. Along with that, she distributed small pieces of paper with the date and time. She also had a menu card that listed the items for sale and the prices. The day before the sale, she went with the menu card to each of these houses and recorded their orders.
On April 5, we started the cooking at 9:30 AM. By 2 PM we had sold everything we made. Only because, Ananya had written down each family’s order in a separate page in her small notebook, and had tabulated the total number of items under each category. I had to just cook to order!
After the food was delivered, she and her cousin started preparing the bills! Each villa/house had a separate bill and the collection process started. When my neighbor Rakan asked for a discount of Rs 5, Ananya refused – saying it was tax and had to be paid!!! (That’s all I need – a run-in with the local sales tax department!)
By 4 pm, both girls were tired and tanned! But the girls were ecstatic at the money that poured in – in 10, 20 and 50 rupees. On hearing about this, their grandmoms and aunts have promised some additional money to add to their kitty!
So what have they decided to do with the money? A local girl’s home in Kakkanad (near Infopark) is looking for funds to buy some sports equipment for the inmates for summer – volley ball nets, volley balls, badminton rackets and shuttlecocks……and they have decided to donate to that cause.
From the Rs 3000 or so they made, Ananya is keeping back 25% as seed money for the next charity drive, since she felt bad that I spent “my” money to fund the sale. The rest is going to a local not-for-profit organization that is organizing the sports equipment for the girls home.
So end of the day, let’s do the math:
Supplies from the local art shop – Rs 437
Ingredients for the bake sale from Reliance – Rs 1335
Total sale made – Rs 3100 (as of April 9 – they have a couple more orders to complete)
Money given to charity – Rs 2400
Finding out how hard it is to earn money, even for a good cause – PRICELESS!
So is this blog about a mother’s pride in her daughter? Not really. This blog is about what I learnt about myself.
I was entirely skeptical about the entire charity effort in the beginning. I also fretted and fumed about having to bake stuff and cook things for close to 4 hours. But Ananya stuck to her plan throughout the 3 weeks. And I realized that as I grow older, my conviction that “I can make a difference” has certainly taken a hit. While I donate money to good causes, the passion that I personally can do something to change the world around me was certainly lacking.
As I watched Ananya stick to her plan, she showed me that it does not take much to make a difference. All it takes is a small plan, little kindness and some hard work.
Thank you Shika and Ananya. For showing me that every drop counts.