202 Notes of Gratitude

Acknowledgement of a persons service is the best gift one can get however small it may seem. This fortnight iMAD decided to tap that one concept to make the world a little brighter and happier. Convey it in words, pictures and not to forget with a smile is all one needs to do! Then stay back and let the magic do the rest.

In the Garden of Peace School in Vellore, TN. with streaks of color and words the students put forth a staggering 122 thank you cards which they gave with a smile to the people in their village :D  

One of the volunteers helps out the kids in making their TY cards.

Full of their creativity and gratitude the kids display the cards they made that will reach to across their villages.

Volunteers Thanked the Garden of Peace founder and School staffs with one of the TY cards.

Many grownups, instead of passing on their business cards, it was thank you cards that they gave. 8 volunteers gathered together to make Thank You card for others. Here is what they have made:

 Volunteers who made the Thank You cards:

One of the volunteer thanked the servent who cleaned the table where he had his breakfast

One of our volunteer emailed her admin services to thank the lady who serves her coffee everyday.

“Thank You Akka!!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ‘AKKA’ who serves coffee @kumbakonam coffee counter in Ground floor cafeteria.

She always welcomes us with a warm smile and she asks coffee/milk and then she gives us saying ‘coffee madam/sir’ Her patience, handing those hot things with care and
Managing to serve us with a warm smile are simply great!! Just wanted to ‘THANK’ her…. &I do everyday”

Thanks through MS paint by a volunteer.

All in all in these two weeks there was a distribution of 202 thank you cards from all age groups and not to mention all the countless Thanks that has been spoken to all the people who were not just doing their jobs, but contributing to a better good in society.

Last but never the least We Thank all the volunteers who became a part in iMAD fortnight knowingly and unknowingly :) . We encourage the volunteers to share their MADness with us to motivate others to do the same. Learn how you can Share your Madness here.

iMAD – Idea of the Fortnight (July 01-15, 2012)

Write a thank you note / email to someone who offers you a service
It can be your maid, driver or admin person in your office…

Let us thank those people who offers us a service and make their day cheerful.

I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks. - William Shakespeare

Share your MADness to inspire others and also to let us know the impact we have created together. Read our blog post to know how you can share your MADness.

Happy volunteering to all.

*iMAD – ‘Ideas to Make a Difference’ or ‘I can Make a Difference’. Read about iMAD here.

1327 monitors switched off in a fortnight

Dear All,

Thank you for the tremendous response for the Everest Serve India iMAD-Fortnight initiative. iMAD means ‘Ideas to Make a Difference’ or ‘I can Make a Difference’. Team Everest have launched the iMAD-Fortnight initiative to promote volunteerism and make a difference through simple ideas.

After launching our first iMAD-Fornight idea, 1327 monitors have been switched off by various volunteers to save power. Thanks to all the volunteers who Made a Difference.

Few volunteers after switching off the monitors, have made a hand written request to switch off the monitors as well.

One of our volunteer have used her drawing skills to create awareness:

Voice of Volunteers:

When I switched off a monitor, one of my friend asked whether is it me who switched of his monitor too? I told Yes.. Hopefully he will start switching off his monitor from tomorrow – Dhanala

Switched off 14 monitors today which is less than the yesterday count of 25 - Devarajan

I’m in night shift and I switched off 23 monitors while leaving at 6AM -Sukumaran

Thanks to all the volunteers who Made a Difference.. We encourage the volunteers to share their MADness with us to motivate others to do the same. Learn how you can Share your Madness here.

iMAD – Ideas to Make a Difference

Dear Friends,

One of the important goals of Everest Serve India initiative is to motivate and educate people on
  • the importance of volunteerism
  • the simple ways to make a difference (MAD)

To achieve this goal, Team Everest has been working on a book which offers you a whole list of simple ideas to help others without money or with little money. We call this book iMAD’ – Ideas to Make a Difference.

We have decided to pick one Idea from this book each fortnight and promote it so that all of us can implement it to make a small difference in this beautiful world. You will get our MAD idea of the fortnight (iMAD – Fortnight) starting this month.

What is iMAD – Fortnight all about?
  • Team Everest will share an Idea every Fortnight from iMAD via email, blog , facebook and twitter.
  • We will encourage volunteers to execute the idea sometime during the 2 week period by creating awareness on the idea and by promoting it.
  • Volunteers who have executed the idea can share their experience by commenting in Everest blog, blogging the experience, share it in Facebook or twitter.
  • We will publish the number of people who have executed the idea with interesting details at the end of every 2 weeks.

Each idea is very simple to act upon by anyone, but has the power to spread the fragrance of kindness across and create a ripple.

iMAD also means ‘I can Make a Difference’ in addition to ‘Ideas to Make a difference’.

Get ready to create a whole new world of kindness, one small step each fortnight…

A special rally by special kids

AIKYA SRC student volunteers participated in a smoke free Boghi rally in Nageswara Rao park, Mylapore on 13th Jan at 7:30 am. Team Everest started Social Responsibility Cell (SRC) in AIKYA school for special children, Mylapore few days back. We wanted to prove the world that special children can make a difference to this world.

AIKYA SRC student volunteers were accompanied by volunteers, AIKYA staffs and parents of the SRC student volunteers.

Everyone carried a placard that had slogans about the ill-effects of burning old things on Bhogi day.

Devarajan, Lions Club President (of Chennai & Padi) and Rajkumar, Secretary of Team Everest who was our special guest for the rally, flagged off the walk. The participants shouted slogans and walked the entire stretch of the park. As there were several enthusiastic health freaks walking in the park, the slogan ” Burn your calories, Do not burn trash” was very apt.

Everyone assembling in front of Nageswara Rao Park

Rajkumar of Team Everest and Devarajan of Lions Club flagged off the rally

Kids creating awareness inside the park. They stressed out the importance of having pollution free Boghi.

The students emphasized on not to burn tyres, plastics during Boghi.

Our Walk is really Special and Unique

We surprised the early morning walkers

They stopped playing badminton and watched the rally

The Mylapore Inspector Mr.Ethiraj took time to provide security to the kids during the rally. He also gave short speech to all the kids and the volunteers who joined the rally.

Team Everest first volunteer Kartheeban addressed the volunteers explaining about SRC and Everest Serve India goals.

Everest secretary Rajkumar gives a speech to the volunteers.

Rajkumar receives a gift from the AIKYA SRC volunteers

Ms.Parvathi Viswanathan, director of AIKYA thanked the volunteers for giving an opportunity for their school kids to create awareness to the public.

AIKYA SRC student volunteers in front of their school

Did you all get the message?

A proud parent of AIKYA SRC student volunteer holding environmental awareness placard

Breathe.. Don’t burn..

Overall, it was a great opportunity to show the world that Special kids can make a difference to this world. Well done AIKYA SRC student volunteers.

To know more about Everest Social Responsibility Cell initiative, please click here

Social Responsibility Cell (SRC)

Dear friends,

Team Everest is happy to inform you all that we launched our first Social Responsibility Cell (SRC) in Garden of Peace School in Vellore dt. 26 volunteers joined this Historic event of Team Everest.

What is SRC?

Social Responsibility Cell (SRC) is an official group headed by the School principal to inculcate & develop the spirit of volunteering among students to give back to the society. The ultimate aim is to create a set of socially responsible citizens by instilling good values among the students thus leading to a better society.

SRC offers exceptionally effective options. The students are able to create their own Club with their own vision and we have a structure to help. Team Everest will provide guidance and support, not requirements and boundaries.

How is SRC implemented in schools?

The below picture describes the structure we follow for Primary school. SRC can be implemented in any school (Primary, Middle, High and Higher sec) and colleges (Engg, Medical, Arts etc..)

Why SRC?

A country is as good as its citizens. India with a billion population have a lot of scope for volunteering. What will happen if a billion people in our country start to volunteer atleast once a month (12/365) for any good cause? The benefits are infinity. We can definitely build such a ‘Giving’ culture by teaching kids about volunteering at young age.

When a person start thinking about ‘Giving’ rather than ‘Taking’, more than half a problem in this society will diminish. SRC’s over all idea is to develop socially responsible citizens and create a Giving culture among Indians. By introducing volunteering to kids at young age, the chances of them doing good to the society when they grew up will be high!

What are the activities that students who are part of SRC do?

We have a big list of activities from which students can pick an idea and can execute in their school or college. They can even come up with their own idea to execute through SRC. The activities involve doing service within the school/college + doing service in the community too. The SRC students and staff volunteers can choose the frequency of service too. They can do it once month or once a week or even once a day!

So, what we did during our first SRC launch in Garden of Peace school. Here is a pictorial description for all of you:

We started from Chennai to Garden of Peace school

The real peace – Garden of Peace school..

Kids in Garden of Peace school

All the buildings are built by volunteers using low cost materials

Everest volunteer Jawahar introducing about Team Everest and volunteers to the school kids

Everest 1st volunteer Kartheeban gives an inspiring speech about Social Responsibility and the importance of SRC in schools..

Kids raises their hands when asked about how many have helped someone in the past

A school student explains about her volunteering activity in the past

A school student explains about his volunteering activity in the past

The entire SRC discussion happened in a very natural place..

Team Everest first volunteer Kartheean explains about the roles of SRC teachers Representatives, SRC student Representatives and SRC class pilots during his speech

Mr.Gokul Kannan, a 5th std student from Garden of Peace school becomes the 1st SRC student leader.

Miss.Priya, a 4th std student from GOP school becomes the first SRC student secretary.

Volunteers introduce the SRC class pilots to the school students by honoring them with a badge. Here is our SRC class pilot for 1st std Miss.Fathima in the picture..

Volunteers introduce the SRC class pilots to the school students by honoring them with a badge.

Kartheeban explains about how students at young age can make a difference to our society without spending money!

Our 1st SRC student representative batch from Garden of Peace School

Our 1st SRC student head and SRC Student secretary posing for our camera.

Everest volunteers discussing about the SRC action items with SRC student and teachers representatives

Volunteers who joined our first Everest Social Responsibility Cell (SRC) launch…

Let us join hands to create more SRC’s across India and teach out future generation about GIVING. Interested to refer a school or college o start SRC, please mail to info@teameverestindia.org

Serve India

Serve India is an initiative of Team Everest. Serve India is my brain child! Serve India is not a different team. It is just yet another initiative of Team Everest. But, we are planning to make this initiative a big way!

“I have a dream where all Indians volunteer atleast once a month for a cause. The solution for many of our current problems is not in the hands of the Government or someone else. It is in our hands. It is in the hands of every one of us.

When Everest started supporting Maraimalai Adigal Govt. Hr Sec School, Pallavaram, Chennai in 2009, the school pass percentage was only 42% in twelfth std. Because of the efforts by Everest volunteers and support from school teachers, the school scored 64% in 2010. The voluntary time made all the difference!

Our Everest volunteer Manikanda, reaches out to as many schools as possible to conduct “Maths is fun” sessions, so that children lose their fear of Maths. He is an IT professional who spares his weekends for the society, which has become his hobby!

There are so many examples which I can cite to explain the power of volunteerism. Dr. Kalam says that. “An Ignited soul is the most powerful resource in this world”. It’s true. That’s why volunteers who are ignited by their passion are also the most powerful resource in this world.

The power of volunteerism is immeasurable. Serve India initiative has been started 4 years after we started Team Everest. Throughout the memorable journey with Team Everest, I’ve had many valuable experiences and enriching lessons. Serve India is the result of the lessons I have learnt. The focus of Serve India is on four lessons which I learnt through Team Everest activities:

Creating awareness on importance of volunteerism:

One day, when I invited my friend to teach a kid in a school, he asked me ‘Why should I volunteer?’. I don’t know what to reply to him. I just stared at him and said, “You just volunteer once, and you will understand why you should volunteer!”. Today, many of us don’t understand why he/she should volunteer. The power of volunteerism is immeasurable. It can create wonders both for the receivers and for the givers! Hence, I decided that through Team Everest we should create awareness on why a person should volunteer. Through Serve India we are planning to create awareness by showing the real life stories where a positive change has happened because of volunteers.

12/365 – Motivating people to volunteer at least once in a month:

When I spoke with my friends and colleagues, many of them told that they volunteered during school or college days or they will refer to a contribution made towards a charity music show. Many of them referred only to the monetary donation that he/she made. No one talked about giving their time. This made me think how frequent a person should volunteer to bring in a difference. That’s when we thought — volunteering at least once in a month is an effective way of giving back to our society. 12 days out of 365 days in a year can definitely make a difference. Isn’t it? We call this concept as 12/365! That is 353 days for you and 12 days for India!

Social service without money:

Whenever I meet school or college students, they use to wish me that we are doing a great job and they will start volunteering once they grow up and have a great career. The primary reason behind this mind set is that, still many in India thinks social service is just donating money. Since school or college goers are still dependent on their parents for money in India, they feel that they can only help others once they get a job. But, school and college goers can make a difference with their time. An 8th grade student can teach a 2nd grade student, addition and subtraction and it makes a world of difference to the beneficiary!

Donating money is just one more way of helping for a good cause. But I feel nothing matches giving your time. We helped a school by donating blackboards, tables etc. But during a clash outside the school, 3 of the school students were arrested by police. That is when I realized that change should not happen around them. It should happen within them. For the change to happen within them we need to spend time with them. That’s why Serve India will focus more on spending time rather than donating money.

No age bar for social service:

When I started Team Everest in 2006, one of my colleagues sitting near me use to ask me this: “Why are you doing all this at this young age? Do you want to become a beggar? It seems, you are going mad!”

I came to know about a 76 years old guy Ayyasamy who didn’t undergo any formal education and is a farmer in a remote village in Tamilnadu, India. When he came to know about global warming in 1984 through a Radio program, he started planting trees and till date he has planted 3000 trees!

I also know a college student who takes evening tuitions free of cost for economically poor students near her home. These incidents clearly show that there is no age bar for social service!

Tell me now. Can we Serve India?