Every year on our anniversary I have tried to spread the love of a wonderful man by doing acts of intentional love/kindness for strangers and family alike.
It has turned a day that for so many years was unbearable, into a day full of shared joy and excitement.
This year I’d like to ask your help in spreading the love! For the 12th Anniversary, having just 12 of you to help my mission of giving, would be the most amazing gift you can give to a day that personifies love.
Are you in????! Do you accept the mission? I know….what the heck is the mission, Taryn!?
Slow you roll, Tom Cruise….Here’s what I’m planning……..
It is no secret that my heart is deeply in love with India and the people who inhabit it.
It is in India that I have found the true meaning of surrender/letting go and trusting the unknown.
In India I learned the true meaning of happiness.
I learned how freaking lucky I am to have the things that so many of us take for granted each second (true story…I am kind of a master at not taking showers after not taking one for 20 something days there…I know…but really, it’s all about the baby wipes and Teen Spirit deodorant).
It is in India that I realized that Mother Theresa knew her shit(though I never doubted this saint)…because “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?”
So this leads me to the goal I have to make this day that encompasses so much love, into one that spreads love…to India 😉
I have stayed in touch with folks in India and was recently contacted by Gokulananda (go ahead…..say it 5 times fast…) who heads the Widow Initiatives in the Keonjhar District…..but first, let me digress…
I’m not sure if you know what it’s like to be a widow in India…I didn’t know until I was in Vrindavan where the “Widow Home” was…and never have I ever been more grateful to be a widow in the United States….to have the rights to pursue life after loss…to have created the AWP….to have the choice to rebuild after the ruins of tragedy.
Take a quick second to watch this clip….it sums it up pretty well (or google “Widow in India”…it’s pretty much the same across the board) what these women face.
Digression done and back to my buddy Gokulananda….who for typing purposes and because I think we’re cool with each other, I’m going to now call Goku on this post 🙂
So Goku’s been keeping me updated on all the amazing things they’re doing to educate all in the district on the importance of supporting widows and their children, while also giving the widows in the region opportunities to have a purpose and a plan to thrive after loss (which is basically my favorite thing in the world). Here are some pics of the ladies, their education initiatives, the children of the widowed they’re serving and some more eye goodies of good deeds:
So Goku and I have been going back and forth, and having run a non-profit for 10 years myself, I know that donations are great, but I love when physical items/services can be given instead of money. So I emailed Goku to send me a list of what I ( or WE….if you’re in 😉 ) could physically send for them to use now….even more so, I want to go beyond that and if you decide to answer this call, you’ll send it directly to them in India (straight to the source!).
So my dude Goku wrote me this:
….Thank you so much for your mail and your concern for the Widows and their Orphan Children.
The materials you have mentioned are very useful and is a dire need for the stakeholders.As per your mail we need the following materials:
White Polo Shirts(For Kids Only)
School Supplies(Note Books,Pencil,Pen,Markers,ABC Books for Kids Only)
Sandals(For both Widows and their Kids )
Water Filter is a dire need for every Widow family.
For Sarees,if it is not possible to arrange it in US,we are trying to arrange it from India.
Thank you once again in advance for your concern for the helpless Widows and their Orphan
Children living in India and supporting IDP Team’s effort in Widow Welfare,Empowerment and
With Kindest Regards.
So there you have it! Everything that may seem small that could make a huge difference (cue Mother Theresa…).
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
These are items that you (or you and your kids/family) can go grab anywhere for very little moola (but make a huge impact with). I would also urge you to write letters of support to them, and as they learn english I have no doubt that those letters will be their aim to one day read. As you can see in the email, I had mentioned the difficulty in finding white sarees (mandatory widow garb in India…and maybe why I like to wear rainbows….we’re lucky!). If for some reason you know how to get some, that would be amazing!
Having spent time there I know that water filters are indispensable, and something as small as this $15 life straw will make a huge impact if that is an item you have the means to donate.
So there you have it! The mission! If you do decide to partake (THANK YOU in advance!) please take a picture of it about to be sent off or of y’all working on putting it together and attach it to the FB post or in the comments below! I’d love to meet the goal of 12 folks sending packages of love (and I promise, you’ll get soooo much out of giving it)… and the posts will let Goku know our little corner of the world is helping in a big love/small gesture kind of way (and maybe I’ll send him rad plaid or non-plaid pics of us coming together for them…I’m thinking plaid…yep).
I’ve included the address to the foundation/Goku below. Print it out and bring it to the post office in case of any confusion.
I am a widow because of December 23rd, 2005…the day I chose to follow my heart and marry Michael….
There is no better way for me to pay gratitude to him for choosing me to be his wife then to help those who are suffering because of their “I Do” ending too soon.
Thank you for taking this journey with me (Cue Mother Theresa…)….
“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.
We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
INDIA DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Tel:- +91 7377720394