Fundraising to help those overseas come up with unique online auction items

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A local charity called SODA that helps people with disabilities in South India is running an online silent auction and accepting donations this year due to the pandemic instead of hosting its annual fundraising banquet.

A local charity called SODA which helps people with disabilities in South India is hosting an online silent auction and accepting donations this year due to the pandemic instead of having its annual fundraising banquet.

The funds go to an organization called SAMUHA in South India in the state of Karnataka, ”said Hilary Crowley, president of the association.

Crowley started the SAMUHA Overseas Development Association (SODA) in 1996 and has pledged annually to raise at least $ 20,000 for its overseas efforts.

She had spent a year in Karnataka from 1994 to 1995, at the height of the polio epidemic.

As a physiotherapist, Crowley was training people there to help those in need.

She has returned year after year for about six weeks each time, but has not been able to do so since the Covid outbreak.

“Since polio was eradicated in India for about a decade, the program has now been aimed at all children with all types of disabilities and also disabled adults ”, Crowley noted.

Its efforts directly fund SAMUHA’s Early Intervention Center for Disabled Children under 6 as well as SAMUHA’s Spinal Cord Injury Unit.

To help raise funds Crowley hosted the online silent auction and features unique items that have been auctioned.

There is a painting by Dr Rahul Hampole, an Indian dinner for 10, a weekend in a Mountain peak Lake chalet, cross-country ski lessons, flute lessons, piano lessons and much more.

The auction continues until Saturday, October 23 at 9 p.m.

“SAMUHA relies on these annual funds to carry out its programs”, Crowley noted. “In this time of Covid, their needs are even greater because many villagers are hungry and the lives of people with disabilities are even more difficult. “

Hilary’s book Footsteps to Freedom describes the evolution of SAMUHA and SODA and follows some of the children with polio from infancy over a 25-year period to adulthood. It is available from Books & Co. in Prince george.

View auction items online or donate anytime at www.samuha.ca or checks made payable to SODA can be mailed to SODA at

1815 Adams Road Summit Lake, Before Christ

V0J 2S0.


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