Padma fundraiser to aid Nepali children
December 2, 2011
Park City resident Luke Hanley ventured to Nepal in 2005 to live and study at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery.
After he was befriended by a group of beggars all between the ages of five and 10, he knew he had to do something to help them out.
So, Hanley, along with his friend Anjit Bista, who worked at the Shechen Clinic, laid the foundation for the Padma Organization, which established the Optimistic Children and Youth Home of Nepal, that provides food, shelter, live-in care, and education to 15 girls and one boy who otherwise would have no opportunity for education or a decent life.
On Friday, Dec. 2, the Padma Organization will hold a fundraiser at Fuego Bistro Pizzeria, 2001 Sidewinder Dr., from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.
The event will feature a pizza dinner, an auction of quilts by Rajistani women who migrated to Nepal to escape persecution/oppression, jewelry sales and a prize drawing that will help collect items for a new, recently leased 10-bedroom youth home.
"We signed a five-year lease agreement but that can be broken at anytime if a buyer for the house comes along, in which case, we would be forced to find another suitable home; not an easy task in Nepal," Hanley told The Park Record. "If we buy the house, we can start looking at expansion options and finally have a stable physical base of operations that cannot be taken away."
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The asking price is $187,000, for the three-story home.
"For the first time we will have enough space to move in new kids," Hanley said. "We are buying new furniture particularly new beds for all the kids and at the fundraiser people can sponsor a bed, clothing for a child for a year and other household things."
People can help with one-time donations that help furnish the home and monthly sponsorships that allow Padma to maintain and keep the home.
"In Nepal many organizations focus on the numbers of kids they provide service to, which is easy to pitch to donors but often ends up with children’s hostels or orphanages that are unsafe and feel more like over crowded jails than peaceful and healthy family settings," he said. "The children Padma supports really feel like they are a family and take pride in taking care of the home. These are the people the fundraiser is helping."
The fundraiser will also help the quiltmakers.
"They use whatever materials they can find and weave them into blankets and quilts with traditional designs and patterns from Rajistan, a state in Northern India on the Pakistani border," Hanley said. "Most of the women spend their days begging and live in a cluster of make-shift huts with dirt floors. The sale of these blankets goes to benefit them as well.
"My Park City local friends are putting together this year’s party with my mom and Padma board member Heidi (Hanley)," he said.
All the money will be sent back to Nepal to help with the home and the Rajistan weavers. All donations are tax deductible, too.
"Padma has no administration expenses in the United States, so very penny is sent directly to Nepal to pay for the home," Hanley said. "My mom will have tax forms available for donors upon request.
"Padma has relied over the years on fundraising events to cover our costs, but we hope to strengthen our monthly donor base in order to budget more effectively," he said.
The Padma Organization will hold its annual fundraiser at Fuego Bistro Pizzeria, 2001 Sidewinder Dr., on Friday, Dec. 2 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Admission is $15 per person or $25 for two. Contact Heidi Hanley for tickets or more information at (435) 640-4452 or online at padmanepal.org.