Nepal Earthquake $100k Campaign

                              Nepal Earthquake $100k Campaign Letter

I have a family, mortgage, and college bills coming up in a few short years. I also have no job, no trust fund, and a severance package that will be spent in a few months. So why did I just spend $1500 on a plane ticket to Nepal where I will be sleeping in a muddy tent, during monsoon season, in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake instead of enjoying a leisurely sabbatical?

Because I remembered how much I love working at something I’m passionate about. After 18 years at a large corporation, it can slip your mind.

I’m also the treasurer of Developing Hands, a Boulder Colorado based non-profit established to build schools in Nepal. We are a small grass roots organization, operating on a 100% volunteer basis, that’s pretty good at drinking microbrews and raising a little money. Most of our fundraising comes from running a beer garden at the Boulder Creek Festival, hosting a concert series at local pub/restaurants, and throwing the occasional fundraiser with silent auctions. Usually at a microbrewery.

We finally contracted last year to build our first school in Mankha through our Denver based partner, Namlo International. Namlo is a little bigger than us, has a few staff in Kathmandu, and actually knows how to build a school. Mankha is in the Sindhupalchok District of central Nepal. It’s a rural location and is one of the least developed districts of Nepal, just off the Arniko highway that leads northeast from Kathmandu to Tibet.   It was going pretty well actually. In March two of our board members bought plane tickets to travel to Mankha at the end of May for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Then on April 25, the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal killing thousands and destroying infrastructure and lives.

An estimated 95% of the structures in the Sindhupalchok district are collapsed and in shambles. It has the highest death count in Nepal, even more than Kathmandu. Nearly everyone is homeless and in need of shelter, food, and emergency supplies. Aid is slowly flowing into Nepal, but is largely focused on more populated areas and if any aid ever reaches Mankha, it will be limited and late.

And this follows a massive landslide in Mankha in August 2014, where over 160 people were killed. Most of those villagers were buried in the slide and could never be recovered.

Our nearly completed school is still standing, albeit with significant damage, but school is a far cry down from survival. Now what?

Well, our board held a meeting and left with a call to action. The trip did not cancel, in fact it was extended. The celebratory trip became a disaster relief trip. I was skeptical at first. I mean, what can a few gringos whose only skill may be serving beer while collecting tips for Nepal actually do in Nepal?

Well, so much amazing momentum, support, planning, and logistics has materialized that 3 days later I bought my plane ticket to join my compadres. And set a goal to raise $100,000 in 30 days, which is when we start our trek to the Himalaya’s. I may not have a job, but I do have time on my hands, and our Developing Hands crew can pretty resourceful.

Developing Hands has no paid staff, no office rent, and very few expenses. When we raise $100,000, every penny is going to be spent bringing in and distributing relief supplies. We will be in country with our partner Namlo International, managing the disbursements and ensuring that the goods your donations procure will get to the people needing it in our adopted village of Mankha. And we have plenty of help lined up in both in Colorado and Kathmandu.

So how can you help us make crazy into reality, while getting the most bang for your donated buck? Go to the Developing Hands Earthquake Relief Fund web page at http://www.developinghands.org/helpnepal/ and donate. Then ask your friends and family to support our cause as well. Don’t just share it on Facebook, call them and actually explain our campaign if you believe in what we’re doing. Send them this letter. We appreciate each and every donation – but we’re only going to get to $100k in 30 days by keeping the big donations rolling in. We need zero’s, and donations are tax deductible.

Next – follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DevelopingHands. We are posting regular updates during our fundraising cycle, and will continue with pictures and video during our time on the ground in Nepal. We leave May 29, and land back in Colorado June 18. You can also look back at our previous fundraising events, and the progress that our school was making.

Do you like helping impoverished kids and earthquake victims and drinking beer? Sign up for a shift in our beer garden at http://www.developinghands.org/boulder-creek-festival-developing-hands-beer-tent/ over Memorial Day weekend during Boulder Creek Fest. We’re in the library parking lot near the stage.

Click on donate, and help save the village of Mankha. We’ll take care of the hard part.

With gratitude,

Steve Peterson

Treasurer, Developing Hands

Stevepeterson70@gmail.com

303-919-0305

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