Saturday, October 13th, 2012, was unseasonably cold and breezy. In spite of this, over 50 South Asian women, men, children, and seniors joined Saheli Support and Friendship for South Asian Women for it Annual Walk Against Domestic Violence. The 5K Walk started at the Burlington Council of Aging on Centre Street in Burlington and wound its way down Cambridge Street. Three officers from the Burlington Police Department planned the route and guided walkers safely along a busy road. Organized as a fund raiser for the organization, the Walk enabled them to raise enough funds to support critical several projects.
Remarkably, over 20 senior citizens from centers in Burlington, Belmont, and Woburn also joined the Walk this year. They are active members of senior club, in several towns, an initiative started by Saheli Rita Shah. The Walk is an annual event, but this year was special. Saheli organized this Walk as a fundraising event instead of the usual end of year party.
The tireless work of Saheli’s resulted in a very good turnout and made this a fun and a enjoyable event with hot tea, healthy granola bars, and T-shirts for a lucky few. Community members supported Saheli’s fund raising efforts by becoming sponsors at several levels – platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. In all, Saheli raised close to $10,000. These funds will be used to provide cash assistance to families breaking up due to violence, and support them with food, housing, and transport costs, to support the sick and elderly, and 3 part time staff members of the Saheli organization. 10% of the funds will be given to support Saheli Volunteer Late Jalina Shalabh’s children’s fund.
The need to support South Asian women and families affected by domestic violence continues to grow. With winter fast approaching many women lead uncertain lives: some live in fear, are about to lose their homes and documents to continue to live in the US. Some live in shelters. Many families affected by domestic violence have young children who need special help; they also include seniors, and those with mental and physical health issues. Saheli requests that the entire community remember these families during their Diwali festivities. If you could not make it to the Walk but would like to support the effort, you can still mail a check to the following: Saheli Boston. P. O. Box 1345, Burlington, MA-01803 or you can make your donations online, at saheliboston.org and donate via Paypal. No amount is too small and all donations are welcome.
If you have an interest in joining Saheli and helping it with its important work in the South Asian community, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.