With the raging coronavirus pandemic around the world, the non-profit organization, Vibha which serves marginalized and underprivileged children in India and the United States, found an innovative way to raise money for the projects that it supports in both countries.
What was its annual flagship fundraiser, DreamMile, has been turned into a virtual fundraiser challenging those signing on to commit to covering 5,000 to 20,000 steps a day for a whole month, Sept. 1-30.
As the month draws to an end, the organization said in a press release dated Sept. 28, that it has raised till date $350,000 towards the goal of $400,000, with more than 4000 people registering for the campaign.
Entitled DreamMile X (DM X), this virtual and global version of Vibha’s previous fundraisers, becomes the biggest ever for this year, the organization said. Participants in the campaign hailed from across the U.S. and India.
The funds raised through The Dream Mile go towards supporting child development projects in India and the U.S.
Over the years, Vibha says, Dream Mile has raised more than $3 Million that has gone to support more than 180,000 children.
“Since our inception in 1991, Vibha has supported more than 250 projects in India and 10 projects in the US,” the organization said in its press release. “As a result, Vibha has been able to reach out to and provide opportunities for over 2.3 million children in need.”
Currently, Vibha supports 23 projects in India and 7 projects in the U.S. It is a completely volunteer-driven organization and said 85% of the donations go towards programs for child development.
“We have received a Platinum standard by Guidestar,” a status it said was granted to only 0.5 percent of charities in the U.S.
This year DreamMile was inaugurated by Consul General of India in New York Randhir Jaiswal, and supported by renowned artists Shankar Mahadevan and Dino Morea, as well as cricketers Ajit Agarkar and Ashish Nehra.
Among the many runs/walks around the world, this Sept. 27, 2020, Vibha did a “quarantined volunteers only” 5k Walk/Run at Skillman Park in New Jersey. Starting early morning with a coffee meet at Wawa, the 21 plus volunteers did some Zoomba dancing before setting off.