At BANC we believe in the importance of giving back to the community that we live and work in. Each of our programs has a featured philanthropic cause where BANC members, youth and guests have the opportunity to support organizations. In addition we promote community events through our website, emails and social media channels. Below is a snapshot of our community initiatives:
Urban Ministries of Durham
In partnership with the Research Triangle HS Girl Up club we collected funds towards the purchase of sanitary products for women in the Urban Ministries of Durham, a local homeless shelter.
Established in 1983, Urban Ministries of Durham works holistically to end homelessness and meet the emergency needs of very poor and hungry neighbors through its programs and in partnership with other nonprofits. Using donations from the community and with the help of some 4,000 volunteers, UMD connects more than 6,000 people each year to food, shelter and a future.
During our annual picnic in 2017 we collected food cans for our local non-profit TABLE.
TABLE is providing healthy food to children in preschool, elementary school, and middle school! More than 2,600 kids are on free school meals locally. TABLE is the only area nonprofit to focus exclusively on local childhood hunger by providing weekly fresh produce and healthy non-perishables to local hungry kids.
BANC Youth Community Project
The youth members of the Bengali Association of North Carolina (BANC) are mobilizing the membership to participate in an ongoing initiative to give back to the communities we belong to. The goal is to span the globe from the community here, where we live, to the community in Kolkata, where many of us have our cultural roots.
The youth members organize donation drives to collect used items and financial donations and also design opportunities for community volunteering.
In 2016, 2017 and 2018, we partnered with Book Harvest, a local non-profit organization and organized a book drive during Saraswati Puja and collected over 600 books. Book Harvest is a Triangle nonprofit that collects new and gently used children’s books and provides them to children in need. Since it kicked off in 2011, Book Harvest has given more than 360,000 donated books to low-income children throughout the Triangle. We collected gently used books for all ages (0- K5), especially board books and picture books for the youngest readers, as well as books in Spanish and bilingual books. Our youth volunteers helped sort the books in our age appropriate bins!
BANC for Nepal
In April 2015, a powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.8 rocked Nepal, killing thousands of people and rendering many others homeless and at the mercy of the elements. We understand that recovery in the aftermath of a disaster of this scale is often a slow and painful process. This devastating event the destroyed the dreams and hopes of so many families and communities deeply impacted our community too.
BANC members joined hands with Nepal Center of North Carolina (NCNC) and Hindu Society of North Carolina (HSNC) to send help to the 2015 Nepal earthquake victims in an expedient manner. BANC initiated a donation match program to motivate its membership to contribute and show solidarity with the Nepalese community. BANC members donated a whopping $2,757 for an overall $4,757.
As Nepal continues to recover from the impact of this terrible tragedy, BANC stays open to ways that we can continue to support the community and its people.
During Saraswati Puja in January 2015, BANC highlighted the work of HOPE Foundation. The HOPE Foundation, an Ireland based charity works to promote the lives of slum and street children primarily in Kolkata and elsewhere in India. HOPE partners with 14 local Indian NGOs and currently fund over 60 projects for street and slum children and their families in: education, healthcare, child protection, nutrition, drug rehabilitation and vocational training. One of their major focus areas is education through the operation of pre-schools for first generation learners, coaching centers for supporting elementary school children and community building for raising awareness for education of the girl child. We were excited that we were able to support their work on a day that is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and learning.
A booth at the venue by The HOPE Foundation, raised over $1100 donated by the BANC community to the cause. A hearty THANK YOU to each donor for your very generous support!
Triangle CureSearch Walk for Children’s Cancer (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
BANC Members participate in the CureSearch Walk, a 2.5 mile annual, nationwide walk to raise money for children’s cancer research. The walk celebrates and honors children who are impacted and are survivors of childhood cancer. In the words of one of our members who participated, “We hope that this will be the first of such volunteering efforts from our community. Every drop in the ocean helps and as a community we hope to teach our children how important it is to participate and give back and try to make a difference in people’s lives. We want to tell our children to make what change they are able to make now, and let the ‘giving spirit’ spread like a virus, infinitely touching the lives of people they may never meet, across boundaries they may never cross, in ways they may never imagine. That is the power of giving and the ticket to changing the world.