OSA NYNJPA 2020 Philanthropic Initiatives
2020 was the year that challenged and rewarded us in multiple ways. While we were constrained to isolate, reduce travel and socialization, we were rewarded with staying home, spending time with family and pursue new interests. While we mourned lost family members, we also came closer to family wherever they are.
Covid impacted the US and India in many ways. The US saw record unemployment, closing of small and large businesses and a record numbers of families requesting food assistance. The Food Banks across the country put out appeals for help to source food and donations in order to support the families. Similarly, Odisha was also faced with severe healthcare challenges which disproportionately impacted people in rural areas who did not have access to modern healthcare.
In these circumstances, the members of OSA NYNJPA stepped up to help each other, help the communities around us and help the motherland, Odisha. The accomplishments have been significant and have touched many many lives.
FOOD BANK ASSISTANCE INITIATIVE – MAY 2020
For the past 7 years, families and children volunteer at the Community Food Bank in Hillside, NJ one day every month. The initiative consists of volunteers of all ages ranging from 9 year old elementary school students all the way through 60 year old seniors. The volunteers are directed in their tasks by Community Food Bank leaders in sorting food, making boxes, conducting factory line production for care packages, and pasta packaging. Each visit helps about 350 – 400 families in the area. The group leaves behind a significant impact each time while being inspired themselves.
In addition, for the past 3 years, OSA families have also volunteered at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen to help give back to the community in the effort to "[provide] warm nutritious meals" through serving and providing hunger packages to those in need in the area. The soup kitchen serves over 4000 meals each week and hopes to train those who go hungry to fend for themselves through meal prep.
In May 2020, OSA NYNJPA families donated more than $2000 to the Community Food Bank and the Trenton Soup Kitchen. The two organizations sent letters of thanks and appreciated the partnership.
CLOTHING DONATION DRIVE – OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2020
In October 2020, our New York member Dr. Tapti Panda launched a fundraiser by way of collecting and donating Used clothing and household items. The initiative brought together many locao organizations to work collaboratively and deliver success: The organizations include:
Emerald Green Rock Hill, NY
The Hindu Samaj Temple, Fishkill, NY
Bharatiya Mandir, Fair Oaks, NY
Crystal Run Healthcare LLP, Rock Hill, NY
Garnet Health Center, Harris, NY
Westchester Community, NY
Long Island, NY
The active collaboration and coming together of all communities raised more than $1500 that went to the OS Health and Wellness Group for Healthcare initiatives in Odisha.
Throughout the drive, Dr. Tapti Panda and spouse Dr. Rajan Subbiah became a familiar sight as they drove around NY and NJ with an UHaul meeting families and collecting donations. Our gratitude to them for their commitment to the cause.
PULSE-OXYMETER DONATION TO HEALTH WORKERS IN RURAL ODISHA – DECEMBER 2020
The OSA Health & Wellness group is a group of US-based Physicians connected with Odisha. In 2020, this group has launched several successful initiatives in Odisha the most notable of which has been the donation of Mobile Covid Testing Units to assist in Rural areas of Odisha.
In September the group appealed for help in donating 550 Pulse-Oxymeters to be distributed to Healthcare workers in Rural Odisha.
OSA NYNJPA Women’s Forum collaborated with the OSA Health and Wellness Group to run a very successful fundraiser that raised $5550 towards the project. The Fundraiser was launched through a Seminar on Breast Cancer Awareness organized by the OSA NYNJPA Women’s Forum and delivered by Dr. Tapti Panda. One unique component of the Fund-raiser was that the OSA NYNJPA leadership matched all donations 1:1 for the first $1000, from the OSA NYNJPA Charity Fund.
OSA NYNJPA FAMILIES DONATE CHRISTMAS DINNERS TO MORE THAN 100 FAMILIES IN NEED
We all saw the difficult time our neighbours had during ThanksGiving 2020. All states saw an increase in families that need food assistance. Food Insecurity has become a desperate problem for many families.
In December 2020 OSA NYNJPA families donated Christmas Dinners to more than 100 familes in need through the Community Food Bank of NJ.
The Food Bank supports food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, mobile pantries, and child and senior feeding in counties including Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union, Hunterdon, Sussex, Warren and Mercer counties.
Our gratitude to the genorosity of the families to support their neighbours in a time of need.