Christmas is a day of joy, remembrance, and sharing. On this joyous occasion, we acknowledge the blessing in our lives and the need to share it with the underprivileged. SupplyNote, since its inception, has believed in its core value of giving it back to society by making some positive contribution in our own small ways. We have been organising donation drives for the previous three years, and this year, we decided to plan our event for Christmas eve day.
How it all started
Originally planned CSR activity was supposed to be food handouts. We usually source food packets from our client brands and then distribute them to the needy. However, due to some issues cropping up, our partners needed more time; hence we had to postpone the food donation drive to a future date.
We didn’t cancel the event and decided to make our contributions in whatever little form and organise a cloth donation drive instead. The factor of cloth donation also took president due to the extreme cold and the problem it causes to the vulnerable population.
Well, all good things need planning, and this initiative was executed by my colleague Aman from the marketing team. A donation box was installed right in front of the office, and Darshana from the HR team sent a formal request for everyone to contribute generously.
I would not like to boast, but our SupplyNote family is full of generous and enthusiastic folks always looking to help anyone in need. In no time donation box was filled to the capacity, and by the end of the third day, we had 13 other bags overflowing with the clothing items.
The way we implemented it
The spirit of enthusiasm our staff displayed was not limited to contributing but also participation; many names pitched in for volunteering, but we limited the numbers to seven for practical reasons. We choose a team of seven, namely Abhishek, Aman, Ankush, Divya, Haidar, Harshit and Sajel, across the different departments to execute the donation drive.
Jeevan Stambh Foundation was the NGO we have partnered with to conduct the donation drive, and Naresh was our coordinator for the event. The area chosen for donation was just a few kilometres away from the metro station and below a flyover. The charity organisations that used this place as a school was nothing but an open space market by some fence with desk inside for kids to sit. Shack nearby was used as storage space.
We complain so much in life for not having a car, a hefty paycheck and sometimes even for trivial things like a slow internet speed. Visiting this place, these street kids called the school, which didn’t have electricity or a toilet, was an eye-opener. This place had no roof, and the kids had to study directly under the sun. There was no safe source of drinking water, and kids had to rush back home even to wash their hands.
As our team arrived at the location, the kids aged between 5 to 12 years slowly started to make their appearance. Divya, who always had a hidden urge to be a teacher, wanted to teach the kids numbers and alphabets but was surprised to see how pretty good they were at it!
Within no time, almost 50 kids had assembled in the camp.
The happiness of giving is unexplainable.
We had collected clothes assuming there would be a diverse crowd of different age groups, but we were a little taken aback when we saw a group compromising kids in their early teens. Wondering how to cheer up the kids, we asked them what they would like to have, only to have a humble reply.
“Mujhe ek fruity chaiye, aur………. Ek samosa….. aur …………bus yahi chaiye”.
Even though this was a minimalistic expectation, it was big enough to make their day. We decided to arrange for fruity and chocolate with the help of Naresh from the Jeevan Stambh foundation.
As we were making snack arrangements for kids, we could see a group of ladies had assembled near the camp. Assuming them to the parents of kids, we decide to distribute the clothes. Arranging the giveaways on the table set by Naresh, we asked the ladies to form a line to avoid a chaotic situation. The ladies were asked to collect the clothes according to their choice or their husbands’ preference.
As we concluded the cloth distribution, the snacks had already arrived at the camp; one by one, we started distributing the 150 snack packets to kids and the adults. There was no lighting in the vicinity, and the staff had to use their mobile phones and car headlights to continue with the distribution.
We donated the rest of the relief material to the Jeevan Stambh Foundation for their future charity drive.
The event all-in-all was a very humbling experience for our staff.