Supporting Families

By on Dec 5, 2017 in Giving, People

When Yardi employee Isabella Mitchell read our original story on Yardi Vasti Vikas Prakalp (YVVP), she pondered ways to get involved with health and sanitation efforts in impoverished in Pune, India. Months later, she and her daughter received the opportunity of a lifetime.pune group crop

Isabella’s daughter, Angelina Mitchell, is a registered EMT and pre-med major at Binghamton University.  Angelina wanted to volunteer abroad and felt called to support Vasti Vikas Prakalp as well. When her mother received a work assignment in Pune, Angelina asked to join her on the trip.

While Isabella worked, Bharati Kotwal, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Yardi in Pune, helped Angelina find ways to get involved. The college student toured several clinics and hospitals with doctors via YVVP. The doctors serve at special sites that offer care free of charge. Angelina focused on programs that assist women and children.

“Dr. Genesh showed me one of the mobile clinics that bring the services to the women and children who are not able to travel. These clinics have a doctor on staff that does free check ups and provides the women of Pune with the appropriate contraceptives. This clinic sees about 50 patients a day, 21 days out of every month,” said Angelina.

At District Hospital, Dr. Ashwin leads a unique two-week program to prevent and treat malnourishment. Mothers are educated on proper nutrition for their children. Their malnourished children are simultaneously treated with a soft mixture of natural foods to restore health. The mothers receive a small stipend to offset their time in the program away from their families and work.

Poor nutrition and early, frequent motherhood contributes to low iron level in local young women. Angelina learned that a lack of footwear exacerbates malnutrition and anemia. Hookworm infects already vulnerable women, extracting blood and nutrients from their bodies.

“If we can get them shoes, a lot of things would get better. That became our mission,” says Isabella.

The Mitchells talked with several shoe manufacturers without much success. The duo ultimately decided to collect clothing donations, starting with the Yardi office in New York. A cookie sale fundraiser followed the successful clothing drive. In the end, the Mitchells and the Yardi New York team procured more than 400 pounds of attire that will go to Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra. The organization offers programs in childcare, foster family care, and adoption.

“We have 226 pairs of shoes and 445 items of clothing,” said Isabella. “That is in addition to about 660 pounds of clothes, shoes, coats and pocketbooks that we will be delivering to a woman and children’s shelter called Guardian Angel Family in Sea Cliff.”

Guardian Angel Family helps woman and their children who find themselves in difficult situations due to circumstances beyond their control.

There was one final kink in the plan. “Freight is really expensive. We’re trying to raise the funds for shipping,” says Isabella. “Once the freight issue is settled, I think it will be nice closure to the project.”

Angelina has created a second project, partnering with Shoes That Grow. The organization creates shoes that adjust up to five sizes, minimizing the financial demand on families. Shoes That Grow has arranged to make shoes and handle shipping arrangements, contingent upon funds raised by the Mitchells.

“The goal will be to raise $2,000 for 100 pairs of shoes. That includes shipping charges to Pune for $400.00. Each shoe is $16.00,” Isabella explains.

Yardi employees and their families are Energized for Good! To join is in our fight against malnutrition and anemia in Pune, make a donation to the shoe fundraiser or freight for existing donations.