In his historic inaugural address, our new president emphasized the value of sacrifice, service, and commitment—an important message given the harsh economic climate. Here at Sakhi, we are very lucky to have a core group of volunteers who generously donated their time and resources throughout 2008.
Our volunteer pool of 40 to 50 active volunteers supports Sakhi through community outreach and direct services activities as well as through supporting Sakhi’s development program. This places Sakhi in the cutting-edge category of the 18% of service providers which, according to a 2007 report released by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, have more than 40 volunteers. From March to August 2008, our volunteers gave eight-and-a-half months’ worth of in-kind time.
One specific group of Sakhi volunteers, Gen 2, also witnessed impressive development and growth in 2008.
At this important juncture, Sakhi’s 20th Anniversary, Gen2 is eager to contribute their talents and enthusiasm to promote social change. Radhika Nayar, co-chair of Gen2, states, “I am most proud of our ability, as a fairly new committee, to foster constructive discussion and action about the often-silenced issue of domestic violence. Despite the economic climate, I am confident that Gen2 will increase Sakhi’s supporters and help Sakhi achieve its strategic goals.”
Gen2 is a young professionals Fundraising Committee dedicated to supporting Sakhi’s work through fundraising and resource development. Members of the committee range from recent college graduates to those who have been in a professional work environment for 2-10 years. The vision of the committee is to have members from various professional backgrounds who wish to come together with like-minded individuals to support an end to violence against women.
Since coming into existence in 2007, Gen2 has been to numerous events on behalf of Sakhi speaking on the importance of individual and community involvement. Last year alone Gen2 played a crucial part in four Sakhi events. The committee has become a vital entity to Sakhi in raising funds to support our programs, introducing Sakhi to a targeted audience we ourselves could not do alone and engaging community members in building a stronger community.
Gen2 has made considerable growth in terms of development and leadership skills. Because of this growth, they were able to help Sakhi hold a very successful wine tasting event last July. The Swirl Wine Tasting Event, the planning of which was led by Gen2, featured delicious wine, cheese, and chocolate but also focused on a discussion and open forum about mental health issues in the South Asian community. Sabrin Chowdhury, Gen2 co-chair, reflects, “Gen2 has come a long way…into a well-known committee that has put on great events, including a fantastic wine tasting event last summer.”
Speaking to the importance of continued volunteerism in 2009, Sakhi Executive Director Purvi Shah said, “As resources around us shrink and community demand increases, we will need our community support now more than ever.”