BAPS Charities in Austin

By Ashish Patel

Aayush Patel is 11 years old. Everyone that meets him immediately smiles upon seeing his beaming face. Even though Aayush is only an Elementary school student, he decided to fundraise for a cause close to his heart: Helping All Blind Children of Texas (ABCTX).

ABCTX is a Texas based non-profit organization supporting blind and visually impaired children, their families, and their teachers since 2004.

ABCTX screens, funds and facilitates their participation in programs, activities, events and projects designed by their Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) that provide hands-on learning experiences that help to master the skills needed to work alongside sighted peers. ABCTX’s mission is to be a resource for the optimal physical, mental, emotional, and social development of all blind children of Texas.

Aayush was thrilled knowing that his efforts were going to make a profound impact in the community. For the last 2 months, Aayush took up the cause of raising funds to support the BAPS Charities Walk in Austin, TX and raised over $ 1,075! He reached out to his teachers, family, and friends of his parents, and neighbors to help contribute to this great cause.

The BAPS Charities walk in Austin, TX, which took place on May 3rd, 2014, brought together over 250 participants ranging from young kids at the age of 3 years to seniors at the age of 85 years. The walk launched with a traditional prayer for world peace and an opening speech by chief guest Dr. Siddharth Pratap, PhD.

“BAPS Charities is an organization which is fueled by the strength, dedication, and hard work of its volunteers. I have seen firsthand how this organization is capable of raising an army of volunteers at a moment’s notice and come together for a good cause. Young or old, I have seen these volunteers stand shoulder-to-shoulder and prepare care packages for disaster relief, feed the hungry, organize health fairs or raise funds for local walkathons such as this one. The work that they do is in itself their reward – they seek nothing else. We as a community must also recognize the spirit of service” said Dr. Pratap.

Upon completing the 3 mile walk, Shilpa Bhavsar proudly stated, “It is a wonderful feeling to know that community comes together for an event like this benefiting a worthy organization like ABCTX. An event like this gives us an opportunity to give back to the community”.

Maunish Shah, a local volunteer for the walk, commented, “Participating in events like this is a wonderful opportunity for my entire family to come together and contribute to something that creates a positive impact in our community. Today, I walked with my wife and both of our parents.”

BAPS Charities undertakes many such charitable events throughout the year to support local communities. BAPS Charities’ projects are inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s motto, “In the joy of others, lies our own”. Through this motto, Pramukh Swami Maharaj selflessly serves society through a variety of social projects and inspires thousands of others to do the same. In addition to the 40 such annual walkathons hosted across North America this year, BAPS Charities hosts a variety of programs to support healthy living, environmental awareness and education initiatives around the world. BAPS Charities sincerely serves the community, by improving the quality of life of individuals and families.

About BAPS Charities:

BAPS Charities is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit international charity organization committed to sincerely serving the world by caring for individuals, families, and communities. It is affiliated with BAPS as an independent charity and social services arm. The 55,000 BAPS volunteers networked in over 3,300 centers around the world provide over 12 million volunteer-hours of service annually.

Among social service charities, BAPS Charities is a well-respected and trusted name. It has amassed over 50 years of firsthand experience in initiating, managing, and sustaining 160 humanitarian operations throughout the world in such diverse fields as: medical services, environmental services, community services, tribal services, and disaster relief services.

For additional information on BAPS Charities and its international and local philanthropic activities, please visit www.bapscharities.org

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