Report on the SLAKE-Supported Fundraiser
“Both IMCD and Rotaract are so grateful to SLAKE for raising funds during this tough time [for the] whole world. Together let’s make sure those generous donations are being handed over to the most needy families.” ~ Mr. Upul Senanayake
“Dear SLAKE Members, We, as the Rotaract Club of ratnapura, are grateful for the support provided by the organization during the last quarantine to provide dry rations to
needy families.” ~ Ms. Janani Senanayake
Thank you to all 28 donors who raised $1,745 for the IMCD and the Rotaract Club of Ratnapura‘s SLAKE-supported fundraiser to provide grocery parcels to low-income families facing food insecurity in Sri Lanka due to COVID-19 restrictions.
After being introduced to each other by SLAKE, both organizations collaborated to work towards their same mission of providing low-income families in the Ratnapura area with essential grocery staples. Due to restrictions Sri Lanka put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as the curfew and travel limitations, many of these families who relied upon daily wages were unable to earn income which led to food insecurity. The grocery parcels IMCD and the Rotaract Club delivered helped provide families with approximately a week’s worth of grocery staples.
SLAKE’s role in this fundraiser was to provide additional exposure to the campaign created and led by IMCD and Rotaract Club. SLAKE created and managed a GoFundMe page where anyone from the U.S. or Sri Lanka could donate electronically to the campaign from April 1, 2020 – May 18, 2020. Additionally, SLAKE promoted this campaign amongst their network in the U.S. and Sri Lanka. Individuals and organizations, such as the University of Maryland, College Park Sri Lankan Students Association, also helped promote the campaign at events and on social media.
Go Fund Me Campaign
In total, $1,745 was raised on SLAKE’s GoFundMe page from 27 individuals and 1 organization. SLAKE incurred a cost of $59.01 when withdrawing the funds from GoFundMe which charges a 2.9% fee plus an additional fee of $0.30 per donation. The remaining sum of $1,685.99 was sent to Mr. Upul Senanayake for IMCD and Ms. Janani Senanayake for the Rotaract Club of Ratnapura via bank transfers. These individuals were entrusted to deliver the LKR 327,321.90 funds to their respective organizations and ensure the proper use of the funding to help families in need.
Purchase of Care Parcels and Distribution Among Needy Families
Upon receiving the funds in Sri Lanka, IMCD and the Rotaract Club purchased grocery staples. Rotaract Club of Ratnapura parcels contained: 5kg rice 5kg, 500g dhal, 1 packet of salt, 1kg sugar, 400g milk powder, 1kg onion 1kg, 1 soap 1, 1 chocolate 1, 1 biscuit, 1kg potato, 1 packet soya meat, and 1 coconut. Rotaract Club additionally received donations from a separate sponsor who provided sanitary pads, Detol, tooth paste, and medicine given by another sponsor. They also received a donation of seeds which were shared with IMCD to deliver to families in their areas as well. IMCD’s parcels included 2kg rice, 1kg dhal, 1kg potatoes, 550g B-Onions, 1kg flour, 500g chickpeas, 100g chili powder, 1 packet of salt, 2 packages of salmon, 1 coconut, 1L coconut oil, 2 packages of soya meat, 1kg sugar, 50g tea leaves, and 1 packet of biscuits. Images of the receipts without personal banking information are provided.
Through these collaborative efforts between the U.S. and Sri Lanka, over 155 families in the Ratnapura area received grocery parcels. Families were located in villages including Mandadola, Nivitigala Divitio including Kolabagama, Sidurupitiya, Watapotha, Waththehena, and Wathupitiya. A list of families and their addresses was provided to SLAKE; to protect these families’ privacy that list will not be shared publicly.
Future Fundraising Campaigns
To improve similar support of fundraising efforts in the future, SLAKE would like to use an online platform that does not require such a high fee to collect and withdraw donations. Recommendations for such a platform to use in the future are welcome. As SLAKE plans to register as a non-profit in the U.S. and Sri Lanka, we hope that this official status will help us qualify for reduced fees so that more funds can be used to directly support our mission.
SLAKE would like to extend thanks to volunteers at IMCD and the Rotaract Club of Ratnapura for their dedication to this noble work, particularly during the challenging times of COVID-19. Their commitment to the families in their local area is commendable and throughout their collaboration they were insistent that the funds be used to help the families in greatest need. SLAKE would also like to thank all of the members who generously donated as this campaign would not have been possible without your support.