The campaign for the Indiya Shines competition at GreatNonProfits.org started out slow. In one week we had made it to around 24 reviews. We were somewhere between the bottom and the not-so-bottom.
Couple of mails and a phone call later, MAD was abuzz. Maddies had started going to work. Mailing, calling, (coercing?) and asking people to Write A Review (WAR).
And so it started. Saturday night – 24 reviews Monday morning – 700!
Black Magic? No.
Jobless spammers? Hell No.
Dedicated volunteers, kind well wishers and a whole lot of meaningful reviews? Hell Yeah!!
The response we got was unprecedented, delightful and awe-inspiring.
Some people who we’d like to thank from the bottom of our hearts:
— Parents of Volunteers, for the guidance, reviewing, kind words and support. :)
— Donor’s and FOM’s for responding to our mail and taking time off their busy lives to drop in some kind words.
–. The Media Empire Gurus and their Blogs for spreading the word at the speed of the Internet. Kenney Jacob, Niju Mohan, Anand at CochinSquare, KochiVibe and countless other blogs that put the post up. Heavens knows how many folks you guys reached. Couldn’t have pulled this off without ya!
— Thank you MAD Delhi chapter. 52 volunteers, 52 reviews. The rest of us weren’t even keeping count. As methodical as Delhi always is. Hats off!
— Our Facebook FanPage Fans and Tweeps: The Great Twimads – Nishali, Nivedita and Rakesh from Mangalore. Binny and Kaddy from Cochin. And Rashi from Mumbai. We made one heck of a noise in twitterosphere those three days! :P
— Finally : Our Volunteers. Yes YOU! And you as well. Oh, you too! You are the breath, back bone and b-something-else of this organization. If it hadn’t been for your dedication, none of this would ever have happened. Go to the winner’s page again, and relive the moment. :D
Now, as was with Ashoka, we got a lot ofkind words about us during this campaign. And in keeping with tradition, here are a mere cross section of what people had to say:
1. The children don’t look up to them as teachers, but as family. I’m glad I was a part of the organisation, though for a short period.
2. I have trained this crazy bunch of young and truly ‘M A D’ people.. And i wish all our teachers in all our schools had the same zeal! :) These young people are out to impact the lives more young people… The best favour that can be returned to the society they are in..
3. Along with MAKING A DIFFERENCE in others life it has MADE A DIFFERENCE in my life. Happy to do my part to make this place a better living..
4. The society at large also benefits considerably from this linkage between different socio-economic groups of youth as this would help the country and society move on an inclusive and peaceful development ahead. A great concept implemented in an excellent manner.
Commander R Madhusoodanan, Corporate Trainer
5. MAD does much more than just teach. It empowers! “Give a man a fish,you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, you feed him for life”. MAD does exactly this.
6. Having done several interviews for the company I work for, I was pleasantly surprised to see the guidelines laid out by the organization when selecting the candidates. This was one organization which had no qualms in going without volunteers rather than recruiting a bunch of non-committed ones (a rare sight for an NGO, coz most of them are trying to increase just their volunteer base).
7. It gives immense pleasure and satisfaction when volunteers take the initiative to develop a New Literate India. I wish and hope that this journey continues with more passion and more volunteers so that we could see our dream coming true!!!
8. Our team became a part of this endeavor only because of the uncompromising stance taken by MAD towards enhancing the quality of service rendered. Offering service is commendable in itself but working towards continual improvement in the service rendered makes the service heart to heart igniting the passion in all who come close, the learner and the teacher learner too.
Jayshree (EZVidya Trainer)
9. The reason i joined Make A Difference was not because I loved teaching or because i had a special affection towards kids, which i didn’t, but because i thought it would look good on my CV (I’m being extremely honest). I enrolled myself in April this year, and sat through the comprehensive training programme that MAD offers, not knowing what to expect or whether I’d even continue teaching for a year. It’s been six months now and i know I’ll never stop
10. A team of dedicated ,disciplined, well meaning youngsters.My daughter is a part of the organisation and so I know how involved and committed they are to their cause. They will surely go a long way and my wishes to them to continue their good work.
Usha Ramesh (Volunteer’s parent)
11. 2 1/2 years with MAD and I see my life divided into two eras, pre-MAD and post-MAD. Simply putting it, my whole life revolves around it now, be it volunteer work, fundraising or just chatting with friends.
12 . The kids surely love what’s being taught and have so much fun. I am glad I have got a chance to be a child once again. Right from the first class that I took the response from the children has been so positive and encouraging that you end up feeling good about yourself and the work you’re doing.
13. I am a journalist and it was during the course of my work for a city supplement that I learnt about MAD. I attended a video conference of MAD where they were discussing the possibilities of bringing laptops to underprivileged children. I was especially struck by how the college students on the team had interesting observations to offer. In fact, I am so inspired by the enthusiastic MAD team at Cochin that I am thinking of signing up as a volunteer
Sumi Thomas, City Editor, Times of India Supplement
And many many many more.. (sigh) Trust me, we sifted through half of it.
So once again, thank you folks for showing your support and making a difference. And Maddies, give yourselves a pat on the back. Job well done! :D
(PS: Images courtesy Mangalore President, Rakesh ‘the Thunder Boom’ Haridas. :)