Many friends - who have generously donated for this "Blanket Drive for the Tsunami Affected" - do not know Tamil. For their convenience this post is in English.
Friends from Internet, Friends from Work, Personal Friends and Friends' Friends have voluntarily come forward and donated for this drive. I thank all of them profoundly. I am sure, all of the contributors here have also donated money through other means already. So, they coming forward again to do this is a noble and wonderful gesture.
I thank Ms. Bhama Ananthakrishnan and Ms.Viji who have donated all the excess money from the Diwali Celebration Lunch at our work, for this cause. Though I am one of the Diwali Lunch organizers, Bhama and Viji donated the excess money without me asking for it. I also did not know there is excess money since I don't handle money matters there. Bhama caught Viji on her plane to vacation to get her approval for the donation. Gestures like this made this fundraising drive a success. Some of my Indian friends at work are on vacation now due to the holidays season. So, they could not contribute for this. However, this excess money from the Diwali Lunch represents all Indians at my work place. So, I thank all of them.
My classmate Karunakaran Palanisamy - who also served as Vice President for Bay Area Tamil Mandram until recently - took charge of contacting my other classmate friends and his other friends for contributions. I thank him for everything he has done.
My colleagues Swami Natarajan and SakthiKanesan Kali who sit in the other building - helped to get contributions from their friends in their building. I thank them very much.
I have not asked for donation from any of my American colleagues here. However, knowing this, two American colleagues from my team have voluntarily come forward to donate. I thank them too.
I thank my wife's uncle Mr. Kandasamy and his friends for their help in procuring the blankets. Each blanket costs more than 100 Rupees if we purchase them through other means. He said the blankets cost normally from 125 Rupees to 150 Rupees each. However, he has agreed to talk to his co-operative society friends/sellers to get them for hundred rupees each. I told him that we could pay only Hundred Rupees for each blanket and not anything more. He assured me not to worry about the price and quality and he would take care of it. To all my wife's relatives, I am always a "Maapillai" (son-in-law of the family) and I don't feel ashamed to use them for good causes like this. They never complain about it. I ask for things with them which I would not ask even my parents. They always volunteer happily to do whatever they can. I have to thank my wife and her relatives a lot for this.
My wife normally does not loan me any money since she thinks I am spendthrift. However, to buy the blankets immediately she voluntarily loaned me the money from her savings in India. I thank her for the same.
Its amazing to know that within 24 hours, we collected commitment for 1737 blankets from friends. I told my wife's uncle to get 1740 blankets to round it off. Without help and support from all of you, it would not have been possible. So, I thank everyone profoundly. By mistake, if I have missed out anyone who helped me on this, I sincerely apologize.
Fundraising is always relatively an easy part. Being a volunteer in the field is worth more. We all could not be there in person to do our service in the rescue operations. Rajni Ramki and his friends are working for this greater cause. I am so happy that these blankets are going to be distributed through Rajni Ramki and his friends. I normally don't get involved in any fundraising until I am sure that all the money raised will go to the needy. This is one such occasion where all the money raised will go to the needy directly in the form of blankets. This was possible only through Rajni Ramki and his friends. So, I thank all of them. May God bless them.
My classmate Sivagnanakumar is thinking of a project wherein he would be adopting atleast 50 children who lost their parents in this tragedy. It means, taking care of accommodation expenses like hostel fees, education and other expenses of the children until they finish their studies. If he decides to do the project and needs help on that, I may come back to you all later seeking some help.
The blankets will be ready by Sunday. Rajni Ramki will pick it up from Karur anytime after Sunday. I will come back to all the donors for the money once I ensure the blankets are distributed. Until then, please hold your cheques. I will contact the donors through email for the money later. I have used today's exchange rate from Bank of India, New York to enter the amount in dollars. Bank of India, New York's exchange rate for today is 1 dollar = 43 Rupees.
The following is the list of donors in alphabetical order. Once again, I thank all the donors and friends who have helped me out in this cause. Without all of you, it would not have been possible. God bless you all.
Due to the time constraints in displaying the donors in a html table, I have displayed the info. in the format, Name--Amt inUSD--# of Blankets. I have the information as a MS-EXCEL File. I will send it to the needy as an email. If you need the excel file, please email me. I will try to convert the info. below as a html table later.
Name--Amt in USD--# of Blankets
Ananda P. Ramasubramoni--69.77--30
Diwali Lunch Fund of the Indians at my Firm--253.49--109
Dr. P. Sundaram--69.77--30
Ganesh Shankar Raman--58.14--25
Saravana P. Govindasamy--69.77--30
Suneetha Pothi Reddy--69.77--30
Thanks again to all of you for giving me an opportunity to be the co-ordinator for this noble cause. This ends the Part I of this drive. If anyone donates more money for the blankets hereafter, I will keep it as a separate list and will use it for blankets or for other causes that Rajni Ramki identifies.