Bodh Gaya, India is the most magical place I have ever known. It is a small town surrounded by dry, rocky mountains that overlook clay and thatch villages, a pair of elephants, and some of the most happy and sincere people I have ever encountered. Part of what makes this place so special is the temple at the city center, which hugs a descendent of the original Bodhi Tree under which Siddhartha Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment over 2,000 years ago.
Bodh Gaya is located in the state of Bihar, which is the Indian state most notorious for the bulk of its population in the lowest demographic sector. This year is expected to be especially hard on the town’s locals, as many of their shops and small vendors have been displaced by the Bihar government as a result of the bombing that happened last July. There is a legitimate fear of starvation among many of the people who live in the Gaya district.
Rarely do we find the opportunity to directly and effectively help communities in dire need across the world from us. I am writing to ask for your support in doing just this by funding a distribution of staple food ingredients to a small Indian town that is very close to my heart. In mid-October, I am returning to Bodh Gaya, a place where I have spent over a year of my life. I am in a unique position to do this work, as I have made strong connections to community members working in humanitarian capacities. Once in Bodh Gaya, I will work with these locals to orchestrate a food distribution. With their help I will buy, portion, and distribute rice, lentils, chapatti flour, mustard oil, and wool blankets: staples that will make an enormous difference in the lives of individuals living in poverty.
My goal is to raise 2,000 USD to fund the purchase of these bulk food ingredients that I will distribute in Bihar. This amount will feed 300 people in need for one month. The more we raise, the more people we can feed. Please consider making a donation to the Bodhi Food Fund. Even a few cents will make a difference, as it takes less than $1 a day to feed one individual.
As a further incentive, donations of 20 dollars or more will receive a special gift from India! This could be your own Bodhi tree seed with starter kit instructions, traditional chai tea with a recipe, or handicrafts made by the people of Bodh Gaya.