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Operation Shanti - August 2008 Update

In February of 2008, we started a fund raising campaign for a special, not-for-profit organization called Operation Shanti. Located in Mysore, India, the folks who run Operation Shanti are dedicated to empowering the poorest and neediest children and elderly people in their area.

As reported in our first update following the launch of our campaign, our readers responded spectacularly, surpassing our goal within a week.

The solar panels that were needed for their main shelter were installed in March. You can view photos of men installing their large solar tank here: Photos from Operation Shanti.

A number of cotton, roll-up mattresses were purchased around the same time that the solar panels were installed. But they found that the cotton mattresses weren't very good for children who still pee in their beds at night, as the mattresses are hard to clean and dry.

So they kept the roll-up mattresses for the adults staying at the shelter, and found durable, pee-proof mattresses for the children. To make efficient use of space, they purchased strong bunk beds, which have been a hit with the children, as some of them had never slept on a real bed prior to coming to the shelter.

For a look at the bunk beds and child-proof mattresses that are being put to good use, visit:

Bunk Beds for Karunya Mane

The last item that funds were raised for was a van that was needed for transportation of residents, workers, supplies, and groceries.

As they searched for a driver for the van, they found that the children were doing fine walking to and from school, and they also found that they were able to handle the transportation of supplies and groceries without a large van. Some of their food needs are being met by a lovely vegetable garden that they started from scratch, which can be seen here:

Vegetable Garden at Karunya Mane plus Planting of Mango and Papaya Trees

Getting back to the van, Tracy Kunichika - the founder of Operation Shanti - tells me that they still plan on getting one, but likely won't make the purchase until they expand their facility. Currently, their shelter is full, and they are expecting four new children to join them in early 2009, so they have expansion plans in the works.

Tracy also tells me that funds that were earmarked for the van will be preserved for the van, and all ongoing contributions will continue to go directly into their day-to-day operations. Operation Shanti continues to receive contributions from our readers, a fact that fills me with gratitude; I consider our contribution to Operation Shanti to be the best group experience that I've ever had, and I will forever remember how I felt when I read through the initial list of contributors.

To stay up to date on Operation Shanti and their many ongoing projects in Mysore, please feel free to visit their blog from time to time. Their blog address is:

I haven't found a cause that's more worthy of support than Operation Shanti, so if you're looking for an organization to lend a hand to, I hope that you take a close look at their Web site here: Operation Shanti.


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