The Miracle Foundation celebrated the Indian holiday and international day of nonviolence and peace, known as “Gandhi Day” on October 2. The holiday commemorates the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi is often referred to as the “father of the nation” because helped achieve independence from British rule through his Satyagraha movement of nonviolent resistance.
TMF celebrated Gandhi Day by participating in the local Be the Change celebration. The Indian Community Center of Austin (ICC) and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) partnered together to help bring awareness of the nationwide community day of service. Participants were encouraged to volunteer throughout Austin in the morning and join in a community celebration full of music, Indian food and fun at the capital in the afternoon.
TMF’s morning was filled with laughter, glitter, and glue as eight children assisted volunteer coordinator Jim Genevro in creating artwork and letters. The letters included pictures of both the writer and the recipient and a short note. The artwork and letters will be given to children during the upcoming October Medical trip.
One young volunteer decided to include a paper football and instructions in his letter in hopes that one of TMF’s children would enjoy the classic American game. We are sure he/she will have just as much fun playing with the gift as our little helper did making it.
As the children busily wrote to their Indian counterparts, their parents were hard at work updating and consolidating TMF databases. A few ambitious parents assisted in some much needed yard work on the TMF grounds. Nothing was passed over as they raked, sheared and weeded the front, side and back yards to perfection.
As the morning came to an end, focus shifted to the front steps of the Capitol. Approximately 150 people, mostly children, came out to the celebration. It was a beautiful day for the Indian community to get involved with community issues and educate themselves about what programs Austin has to offer.
Partnering with Bollywood for a Cause (BFAC), TMF was one of nearly 30 nonprofit, volunteer organizations raising awareness for various Indian causes. Brock Sampson, founder of Bollywood for a Cause, led 30 people, including our own Lisa Dirks, in a choreographed Bollywood dance performance. BFAC has started a wave of Bollywood Flash Mob dancing to raise awareness for TMF and is currently gearing up to break the world record for the largest Bollywood flash mob. Check out the videos from Saturday’s event below.
Brock Sampson speaking about BFAC and bringing awareness to TMF
In addition to the festivities, various city officials such as Council Member Laura Morrison and State Rep. Mark Strama spoke. Influentials Deval Sanghavi and Parag Mehta spoke as well. There was also a musical performance by Kat Edmonson and free saris up for grabs. Throughout the day, TMF representatives Lisa Dirks and Leia Deyhle promoted TMF and answered questions as people stopped by the colorful booth. They even had a little help from TMF board member Krishna Srinivasan’s sons Rohit and Sidharth. The boys passed out brochures and newsletters and helped set up the booth.
The Miracle Foundation was honored to participate in the Be the Change event and would like to give a special thank you to all the volunteers (big and little) who helped out. We appreciate everyone that came out to the TMF booth at the Capitol and those who danced in the flash mob for us. Be on the lookout for more ways to get involved with TMF and how to help BFAC achieve the Bollywood Flash Mob world record in 2011.