Tuesday, November 24, 2015

December 2015 CORDUSA News


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GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations announced that CORD USA, Inc. has been honored with a prestigious Top-Rated award for 2015.  We are proud to receive this award for the fourth consecutive yearWe are also the proud recipients of grant from Hindu American Foundation on our work on Bhutanese Refugees Empowerment Program (BREP) this year.

Since the inception of CORD USA, we have sent many groups of high school students for service visits to our CORD facilities in India. They reside and work at these centers; returning from their trips inspired by seeing CORD’s work in action.

With the core values CORD has permanently etched in their hearts, they are inspired to become our next generation of ambassadors who will continue to raise funds and the hopes for those in need.

We had two Service Visits in Summer, one to CORD Sidhbari in Himachal Pradesh and other to CORD Siruvani in Tamil Nadu.  One Service Visit participant wrote -

“The volunteer to trip to Siruvani, India with CORD  USA not only gave me insight into the lives of villagers, but also catalyzed my appreciation of the world I come from and all that I have, and gave me a pathway to cultivate my desire to help people in need. The lifelong friends I made, the cherished interactions I had with the village children, and the ability I was given to make a tangible impact in the betterment of the lives of the populace all made the experience one I will remember forever. Each activity we engaged in had its own unique significance in helping the lives of the residents, whether it was conducting Balavihar classes, painting coconut trees, building compost pits, constructing toilets, witnessing self help groups, helping farmers clear weeds, or teaching the importance of sanitation. These individual experiences came together into a multifaceted whole, and manifested within me a passion to continue to help these people and an urge to reflect on my own life and realize how thankful I should be for what I have.”

We are expanding our program to include different CORD centers in India and Sri Lanka. In the month of December, CORD USA will send 3 different groups to three CORD sites.

Among those 2 groups being sent are high-schoolers and chaperones; one batch will be going to CORD Tamaraipakkam in Tamil Nadu and the other to CORD Deuladiha in Odisha.

The 3rd batch - our CHYK (youth ages 18-28) group - is visiting CORD Sri Lanka’s various sites.  We are very excited about these Service Visits and will update you with their findings in January.

Closer to home, we are all preparing for Thanksgiving.  Holiday traditions are as different among families as the diversity of our nation.

No matter what your tradition is, the spirit of Thanksgiving remains the same. It is the time to give thanks for all the good that has graced our lives.  And you know what comes after Thanksgiving - the Black Friday shopping frenzy!



Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the busiest shopping days of the year. This is a great opportunity to increase CORD USA’s donations through AmazonSmile.  The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of all eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers.  Please click the picture here and start shopping!

For those without an Amazon account, please use our FundSponge link to contribute to CORD USA without spending extra!

Big thanks to Kapil Varma and Christine Petrolati for their help with this newsletter!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, I am just an email away...

Subha Varma Pathial
CORDUSA Inc.
Tax ID - 27-0540459
Toll free number: (866) 580-5508
Fax: (866) 580-5508
http://www.cordusa.org
http://www.facebook.com/cordusa
http://cordusa.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/cordusa

Thursday, May 7, 2015

May 2015 CORDUSA News

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Wish you all a Blessed Gurudev Jayanti!

The encouragement and support that we receive continues to inspire us. The biggest proof is that GreatNonprofits; the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations, has again named http://greatnonprofits.org/org/cord-usa-1
us a Top-Rated 2014 Nonprofit for the 3rd consecutive year! It is that time again.  Please help us keep our streak alive by getting a 2015 @GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Award. You can help by writing a review of your experience with us at

Our CORD USA-CHYK (Chinmaya Yuva Kendra) West partnership team has been very busy this year.  We have setup an online store where you can purchase various items with all the proceeds going to support CORD USA.  Buy beautiful all purpose greeting cards and support our cause! All the proceeds from greeting card sales will go to CORD USA! Please see: http://www.chykwest.com/shop/

Here is a note from a satisfied customer, “There is nothing better than receiving a card in the mail. A CORDUSA greeting card is even better because you're sending a beautiful story, even if you write nothing at all! Because of this, I didn't think twice about purchasing my CORDUSA greeting cards- It's a win-win for everyone.  Moreover, actually purchasing the cards was the smoothest process, thanks to the CHYK West Online Shop. It was so simple! The cards are beautiful, unique, and each illustrates a story”. ~Reena P.


CORD USA is excited about their upcoming Summer Service visits for High School students to participate in a service visit to India. This summer, they will be going to CORD Siruvani in Tamil Nadu and CORD Sidhbari in Himachal Pradesh.  We will share their adventures in our next blog.


February 20 was World Day of Social Justice (WDSJ). GlobeMed had two events at Boston College in connection with this. The first was on Wednesday, February 18th. The event was titled "Conversations on Social Justice," which featured a panel of students sharing their experiences working in areas of social injustice and how their experiences in those areas have shaped their lives. The second event took place on Friday, February 20. On this day, GlobeMed had a table in the lobby of one of the main dining halls at Boston College. They shared facts about themselves, CORD, social justice, the Millennium Development Goals from the UN, sanitation, and India.

Wonderful work by our partners!  On March 24th, GlobeMed BC arranged an Indian Dinner night to raise funds for their upcoming trip.  GROW Internship trips are an essential aspect of our partnership because it ensures the implementation of GlobeMed-CORDUSA projects. GlobeMed interns get an opportunity to explore community development and learn from an established grassroots organization;  this allows us to collaborate face to face, which keeps our partnership strong.


The fundraiser “Penny Wars” for the Bhutanese Refugee Empowerment Program run by CORD USA kicked off on February 28th. It has so far been a success. We will sgo over the details in our next blog.


Seven volunteers from the University of California, San Diego went to work for a fortnight at CORD Siruvani. The team was led and organized by Parthu Kalva, the CORD USA lead at UCSD.  They, along with the local CORD team worked on 5 specific areas - Environment, Women’s Health, Tobacco & Substance Abuse Awareness, English Education and Open Drainage. The team visited around 8 schools several times to bring the programs to the children and to the various villages there.


April 3-5, 2015 - Niagara Falls, Ontario,  Acharya Vivek Gupta lead “Spotlight for Siruvani”, a fundraiser camp to raise funds for CORD Siruvani.  He has been leading awareness and fundraising programs for CORD Siruvani for the last 4 years.

In 2012 The Chinmaya Inspiration I Yatris raised $15,000

In 2014 The Chinmaya Inspiration II Yatris raised $20,000

In 2015 The Chinmaya Inspiration III Yatris raised $25,000, all for CORD Siruvani for their new facility.  Thank you, Vivekji and his team!

Will bake for CORD!  Sanjana, a middle schooler, who owns "Frosted World" and bakes cakes
tirelessly to earn funds for CORD, raised $2,670 for the year, which is about 175% of her target of $1500, and she still has a few months left! She is displaying her 3-tier peacock cake here... We are very proud of you Sanjana!


CORD USA-Portland volunteers were hard at work on April 11th at the Oregon Food Bank. They worked there in 2 shifts. A total of 75 volunteers bagged 6104 pounds of frozen Squash. That is 5086 meals!!  Thanks for your interest in volunteering at OFB!  Volunteers improve people's lives, bringing joy and hope to countless families and individuals who experience hunger. At OFB, volunteers from all walks of life come together to have fun and help build a better community. It's inspiring!


CORD USA Minneapolis is having their Annual CORD Walk at Chinmaya Mission Chaska on May 10.  They are providing free lunch and T-shirts after the walk to celebrate Gurudev's Birth centenary year. The walk is  from 11:30 A.M - 1 P.M on a regular Balavihar day. If you are in that area, please participate and support!

Chinmayaranyam is an experience by itself.  Inspired by Swami Chinmayananda, the volunteers and staff work in a very impoverished area feeding, educating and providing services which support very disadvantaged sections of society for the last 3 decades.  You can support this cause in many ways.  Please reach out to me if you would like to learn more about these programs.

Let me give you a number of sponsorship options for the program at Chinmayaranyam, in Andhra Praddesh.

1 - Satya Kama Mandir - A residence facility for poor children who are provided food, shelter and clothing; along with free education. (Maintenance in the hostel)

  • Poor children home maintenance fund - about $ 250 supports a week.
  • Support one child completely for 10 years -$5500.
2 - Free Schooling at Hari Har Vidyalaya.
  • Free education fund - $200.
  • Support one child's entire education for 10 years-$3000

3 - Annadanam at Ashram (lunch) - $100 for a day. This is for children as well as adults; particularly elderly people from the surrounding area. For many of the older people they often go there to eat their only meal of the day.

You can send your contributions to CORD USA, with memo field "Chinmayaranyam".


Big thanks to Kapil Varma and Christine Petrolati for their help with this newsletter!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, I am just an email away...

Subha Varma Pathial
CORDUSA Inc.
Tax ID - 27-0540459
Toll free number: (866) 580-5508
Fax: (866) 580-5508
http://www.cordusa.org
http://www.facebook.com/cordusa
http://cordusa.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/cordusa


Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 CORDUSA News

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As 2014 has come and gone we wanted to share with you all that transpired with CORDUSA last year. In the year 2014, the children across Chinmaya Mission Centers in North America  conducted 14 CORD USA Fundraisers and raised $124,000!  There are 4 active University chapters of CORD USA interacting with different CORD centers.  A number of children went above and beyond this; offering their own graduation, collections, Arangetram and artistic performance gifts to support our cause. You can get more detailed information about these events through our website
and Facebook page.

The GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations announced that CORD USA, Inc. has been honored with a prestigious 2014 Top-Rated award.  We are proud to receive this award for the third consecutive year!

To see the impact of CORDUSA’s efforts manifested in work at the various CORD centers across India and Sri Lanka, please see the funds distribution page.  Our programs and activities have been inspired and formulated based on dynamic and vibrant interactions with thousands of villagers as well as our local programs in the USA giving then "a hand up, not a handout".

Administratively, we have kept any costs under strict control with 0% overhead in running CORDUSA. The money that all of you raise will go to the needy in its entirety. We are very appreciative of the centers who continue to raise awareness and funds and invite you to join to support a great cause.

Since the inception of CORDUSA, we have sent many groups of high school students for service visits to our CORD facilities in India. They stay and work at these centers, and return from their trips inspired by CORD’s work in action. With the core values CORD has permanently etched in their hearts, they are inspired to become our next generation of ambassadors who will continue to raise the hopes and funds for the recipients.

We just completed our Winter service visits to CORD Deuladiha (Odisha) and CORD Tamaraipakkam (Tamil Nadu).  Here is an excerpt from the chaperones who took the students:

"During the service visit the students were able to see first hand what CORD does in India. Before their visit, they had an abstract idea of CORD through fundraisers and presentations. Through this visit, they were able to witness the tremendous work done by CORD at the grass roots level. Their love and friendship knew no language barrier and despite not knowing the local language, all the kids 
were filled with joy.

Most students saw what it meant to live without minimal comforts and great opportunities that we take for granted. However, they also saw how the same happiness is found amidst very meager circumstances that they see in much more prosperous surroundings. They came back with excitement about meeting children, adolescents, women as well as farmers hard at work.

It was exciting for the volunteers to see the impact of their activities. Some impacts was immediately evident upon completing the physical tasks like the village clean up, pit digging, toilet construction etc,. Our kids also were excited that they were able to pass on awareness of cleanliness, education, hygiene, self empowerment, and career choices. They found this less tangible impact equally inspiring. They were also filled with gratitude and recognized that they gained more than they gave and learned more than they taught during this visit.

They came away with memories for a lifetime and many friendships that will last a lifetime too!"

CORD USA is happy to bring you opportunity to work in two very dynamic Centers this upcoming Summer: CORD Sidhbari, in Himachal Pradesh and CORD Siruvani in Tamil Nadu. The Sidhbari service visit is scheduled from July 5th to July 18th, 2015. The Siruvani visit is scheduled from July
12th to July 25th, 2015.  Stay tuned for the online application!

The service visits are fueled by enthusiastic students and adult chaperones. We are eager to work with committed adult chaperones who are interested in guiding our bright youth whom they can lead by example. Any adult personifying the Chinmaya Mission values and willing to guide the Chinmaya students in those values is heartily welcomed to apply. The chaperone does not need to be the parent of a current student volunteer.

These service visits are extraordinary opportunities to serve others and experience the joy of service.  We are looking for volunteers, students and chaperones; who value  these objectives and will enthusiastically engage in all related  service activities without reservations.

Online applications will be open very soon at http://www.cordusa.org
Once the application is submitted, one of the service visit coordinators with be in touch with you to guide you through the screening and evaluation process.  Watch out for announcements coming out in the next weeks!

Big thanks to Teji Kanakamedala and Kapil Varma for their help with this newsletter!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, I am just an email away...

Subha Varma Pathial
CORDUSA Inc.
Tax ID - 27-0540459
Toll free number: (866) 580-5508
Fax: (866) 580-5508
http://www.cordusa.org
http://www.facebook.com/cordusa
http://cordusa.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/cordusa