Colorful Indian children’s clothing, attractive kurti ensembles and a multitude of elegant silk and cotton saris enticed shoppers to browse through the variety of offerings at SD Nari’s Indian Clothing Donation Sale held on January 23 and January 29 at the Miramar Cash & Carry Complex in San Diego.
SD Nari is a 501c nonprofit in San Diego which functions as a resource and referral organization for local women of Indian origin who require help with domestic violence, abandonment, seniors living alone, legal and immigration problems, and other social issues.
Under the guidance of President Anuradha Kumar, the SD Nari Youth group had worked tirelessly for weeks to organize, store and display almost a thousand pieces of gently used Indian festive wear which was then sold to the public at heavily discounted prices.
The purpose was twofold – to help the environment by recycling literally hundreds of bags of perfectly good clothes that would otherwise end up in landfills, and to use the funds raised to directly help survivors of domestic violence in San Diego. Hourly raffles and prizes were given away to welcome crowds of visitors – both Indian and American – to the sale. Women of all ages thronged the hall to pick up good buys for themselves, their children and grand-children. Many items were brand new and still carried the original price tags.
The fundraiser was publicized extensively on Facebook and Instagram by SD Nari Social Coordinator Praneeta and other youth members was deemed a rousing success. Anuradha Kumar acknowledged the efforts of teens and their parents to make the event a success and raise funds for a charitable cause in a social media post.
““CONGRATULATIONS for a great job! This was an exhaustive (and exhausting) campaign. The many “wo-man hours” you have put directly help Domestic Violence survivors. That’s a big deal!!
“Our #sdnariyouthteam did an outstanding job in executing this project in spite of their demanding school schedule! ”
SD Nari’s Youth Committee was founded with the goal of educating, empowering and engaging young high school and college girls on social issues. Members support their community in many ways including empowerment through scholarships, aiding the homeless, and hosting informative panels and seminars.
When I asked some members of the youth team why they decided to join SD Nari, they were unanimous in their responses. “I am inspired by SD Nari’s goals every day, both in my personal and my school life. I want to empower other women, both in my community and beyond. Working on projects to aid women has helped me to learn important leadership skills. I helped to create the SD Nari Youth Committee scholarship which helps girls to work on projects to aid other women in the community,” said Suravi.
Riya added, “I appreciate how SD Nari has projects to help seniors in the community, who are often lonely and overlooked. I also love the opportunity to join an organization that constantly gives back to the community and supports young South Asian women”.
“I identify with projects that aid women suffering from domestic violence issues. I strongly support the tagline for SD Nari: Women for Women,” commented Trisha.
Anusri identified with the goal of empowering high school girls. “I myself have often felt a lack of confidence due to my gender. I enjoy being part of an organization that actively empowers high school girls”
All of them mentioned how much they enjoyed learning leadership skills through community projects such as the “sandwich-seva” drive where they made and served sandwiches to the homeless, the Christmas toy buying project to provide presents to children of single mothers; and currently the Indian clothing donation drive that repurposed gently worn clothing.
It was inspiring to see young, future women leaders of our society actively engage in projects that would benefit not only their own community but also society at large.
“I also identify with the overarching goal of empowering women, as I feel that women are often underestimated in society”, said Sia.
Susheela Narayanan is a retired early childhood educator and Professor of Child Development from San Diego Mesa College. A longtime resident of San Diego, she is active in her community and with Rotary as an advocate for social issues, especially involving women, children, and refugees. She enjoys hanging out with her family of two children and two teen grandchildren who live in the Bay Area. Her interests include reading, music, travel, gardening and writing human interest stories.