Newletter 2020

Message from Amrit Kalotra, President of Karuna Charities

The year 2020 has been unique. It felt as if a pause button had been pressed for the world and we were all temporarily stopped in our tracks. The Covid-19 mercilessly beat on many doors and took away many precious lives. Many families are suffering and in need of life’s essential necessities. All over the world, communities have come together to help the needy. I hope the worse will soon be behind us and the vaccine will make a difference. Meanwhile, there are many needs yet to be fulfilled. Karuna Charities appealed for funds and the Community responded gallantly with their money. The COVID-19 and Diwali fundraisers enabled us to help many. I called a shelter in Leesburg, VA and the words of the Director keep ringing in my ears “Where shall I house the needy? They keep coming and coming”. Thank you family and friends for responding so generously to the needs of our Community.

On a more positive note, we have started in earnest a Group called Yuva, the Youth Group of Karuna Charities. Our children are our future and this group will be like a window to our world, especially to the rich culture and heritage around us. The kids will learn to celebrate the differences and to share, care and give back to the community.

We at Karuna are full of gratitude for what we have been given. Hoping for better times and wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Karuna’s Goals
The focus of the Karuna Charities Washington chapter is on giving a helping hand to needy and disadvantaged women in four ways:·         
Providing services and support for women and their families, e.g., help with rent, lawyers’ fees, providing training leading to employment leading towards independent living, and much more.
Educational Scholarships. Karuna has established four educational endowments in the Washington area.
Community Service in metro Washington, e.g., making and serving meals, supplies for AIDS patients at Mother Teresa’s home, turkey meals for DC shelter, school supplies for disadvantaged children, COVID assistance, and more.
In addition, help is provided in crisis situations around the world.
Contributions
Karuna accepts contributions throughout the year. You can mail your tax-deductible contributions to Karuna Charities Washington, Inc.P.O. Box 60241Potomac, MD 20859Karuna Charities is a [501 ( c ) (3)] Charitable Organization.Members can contribute stories, recipes, and news to the next newsletter by sending an email to Gita_Bhatia@hotmail.comIf you have any suggestions for Karuna Charities, please write to Amrit Kalotra at AmritKalotra@aol.com 
Karuna Charities’ Extraordinary 34 Donations in 2020, the year of the COVID Pandemic
 The 34 donations included monetary support as well as supplies and food for:·         Abused Person’s Program, Montgomery County, MD·         Abused Women’s Shelter, Montgomery County, MD·         Embry Rucker Shelter, VA·         Abused Women’s Shelter, Reston, VA·         Montgomery College Foundation, MD·         Northern Virginia Community College, VA·         Universities at Shady Grove, MD·         University of the District of Columbia·         Arlington Food Assistance, VA·         Manna Food Center, MD·         Baltimore Health Professional Mutual Aid Corp. MD·         National Center for Children and their Families·         So Others Might Eat·         Fairfax County Office for Women and Domestic and Sexual Abuse, VA·         Blossoms for Pink, VA·         Stepping Stones Shelter, VA·         Loudoun County Abused Women’s Shelter 
Karuna Charities Virtual Diwali, November 2020:
In lieu of its traditional Karuna Diwali Gala, Karuna Charities this year held a virtual one entertaining viewers with a musical evening with Bhajan Samrat and Padma Sri Anup Jalota live from Mumbai, India. He regaled the audience for over an hour with popular gazhals and sufi compositions. The program was engagingly emceed by Nilima Mehra, a long-time member and active supporter of Karuna Charities. The President, Amrit Kalotra, gave an inspiring speech about the goals and accomplishments of Karuna Charities and thanked the generous community for their support particularly during these challenging times. The Vice-President Sujata Avasthi recited a beautiful poem which she wrote herself on Karuna Charities and its team. Vice-President and Treasurer Jasbir Sethi gave the Vote of Thanks and reminded viewers that as Karuna Charities has no overheads, each penny goes towards the Charity. During the event, a picture slide show on Karuna Charities was played for viewers to enjoy and a melodious song was sung by Sangeeta Simlote.The event was relayed through Zoom and ably managed by Mr. Ajay Avasthi. Please visit our website for more details on this unforgettable event.
Inspiring Karunites: This year, Karuna Charities conducted two Fundraisers. The first was through Facebook in May 2020 where Karuna Charities was able to raise funds specifically for COVID-related needs from the generous community. As a token of appreciation to our donors, Awesome Blossom kindly delivered potted plants to the first highest contributors. The second Fundraiser was for the Diwali Gala which was also a great success.Yuva, the Youth Group of Karuna CharitiesIn December 2020, Yuva, the Youth Group of Karuna Charities got their own page on the Karuna website: karunacharities.org.The leaders of the Yuva group are: Harita Raja, Sangita Kalotra, and Priyanka Rattana. The aims of Yuva are to inspire children to:·         Build a sense of community service through educational and cultural activities.·         Teach children the importance of giving back to the community.·         To help and educate our children about our rich Indian culture and enrich their lives by learning about different cultures of the world. 
Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.  – A Chinese Proverb
Unconditional Love * A Box of Kisses
Some time ago, a man punished his 3-year old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift in the same box to her father the next morning and said “Daddy, this is for you.” He was embarrassed by his earlier over-reaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty.He yelled at her, “Don’t you know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?”The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said: “O Daddy, it is not empty. I blew kisses into the box all for you.”The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.In a very real sense, each of us, as humans, has been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, friends, family, and God. There is no more precious possession anyone can hold.
A Poem by the very talented and beautiful Meenakshi Mohan, who is also a great supporter of Karuna Charities. This poem was published in a journal in the U.K.A Silent Prayer by Meenakshi Mohan(Dedicated to all the front line people who are fighting to save and protect us from this invisible demon)
As my vessel sails through the stormy, tumultuousWaves of lifeI stretch my wings to reach TheeIn a silent prayerPlease guide me,To conquerThe clamorous journey aheadWith astute knowledge and strength.Then,Endow upon me the peace and calmAs flows into the heart of the ocean.

Karuna Charities is celebrating 21 years of service to the needy and disadvantaged

 thanks to each of you.

For more information about Karuna Charities, please visit: Karunacharities.org

And Karuna Charities page on Facebook