January 23, 2012
The Hindu Community in Austin, through Hindu Charities For America (HC4A), a non-profit established in 2010 to aid education for homeless children in the US, will donate library books lost during last year's wild fires to Bastrop ISD. Members of the non-profit are presenting the donation on January 24 at Pine Elementary School in Bastrop.
Last summer, the fires in Bastrop destroyed more than 1,500 homes and caused an estimated damage of over $250 million.
“A donation to our district libraries to replace library and literacy materials would be of great value,” said Camille Smith, Dir. Of Assessment and Student Support, Bastrop ISD.
In 2010, HC4A’s inaugural event was successfully completed over a two day period on August 12th and 13th culminating in a donation of resources and volunteers that benefited 230 students over four entire campuses in the Round Rock, Texas school district. Additionally, HC4A donated school supplies in an emergency situation for a school in Del Ville ISD.
In 2011, the Hindu Community under HC4A donated school supplies to over 15 percent of homeless children in Austin ISD. Along with local businesses and non-profits, Hindu Charities for America participated in serving breakfast and distributing school supplies to these children on August 6, 2011.
As founder Harish Kotecha put it, "education is important to us and is a passion for us, and we will continue to support homeless students in our local communities."
The ultimate goal for Hindu Charities For America is to expand this project of handing out school supplies to homeless children across America. It is a unique concept; Indians in the United States have long been sending justifiable aid to India. Hindu Charities for America does not seek to replace or supplant such efforts.
Ambitions are big and the goalposts are high, but the 2010 Round Rock ISD donation project and the 2011 Austin ISD homeless children project can be considered a positive step towards such goals. The large amount of volunteers ready to assemble and distribute the school supplies demonstrates the great deal of interest generated by Austin Hindus and their zeal for charitable action.
“At the end of the day, we are all a product of the American communities that we live in whether we were born here or immigrated here,” Kotecha said. “By giving back to those communities in the area that matters most - education - we can enable change at an unparalleled level.”
See more at www.HinduCharitiesForAmerica.org