Christmas Sweaters

Dec 20, 2009 | Funding, India | 0 comments

Dear friend of Prakash,

Rajat and Nidra are so cold, their teeth are chattering.

To get a little warmer, Rajat rubs his uncovered arms — arms that are protected only by his short-sleeved cotton shirt. Nidra wraps her thin scarf around her shoulders.

“Cold?” you may be wondering. “At Prakash Institutes — in central India?” It’s easy to assume that India’s tropical climate means only blue skies…swaying orange trees … colorful flowers …

But you may not realize that even in central India, there’s a cold season that can last up to five months, with pouring rains, heavy winds and damp air. And while Rajat is enormously proud to own his own shirt and Nidra carefully hand launders her choli blouse — let’s face it, simple cotton shirts don’t begin to keep students warm even in Nagpur, when temperatures dip down into the 50s and the bitter wind is blowing.

You can help change that for Rajat, Nidra and their fellow students with your special year-end gift to Prakash Institutes — and help buy sweaters for boys and girls enrolled in the school.

I realize that to many of us, a sweater is not an unusual gift. I admit it — I’m among the thousands of Americans that doesn’t hesitate to exchange a gift sweater for one I like better.

But to our students at Prakash Institutes, the gift of a sweater is precious. A sweater means physical protection from chilly, damp temperatures … and more.

You see, each Prakash student gets to keep the sweater he is given. That may seem obvious to you and me. But to our students in India, the gift of ownership is a gift of dignity. Your gift reminds each one of those young boys and girls that someone cares deeply about them as a special, individual person.

You can make that kind of a powerful difference in a young person’s life with your gift this holiday season.

During this time of year, Tibetan sweater merchants travel down from the Himalayas into central India with their wools and knits. They set up roadside stands to sell their wares, bargaining with locals and offering sweaters at a fraction of the price of what you’d pay in the U.S.

Tibetan sweaters routinely sell in American stores and on the Internet for $90-$125 or more. But Prakash Institutes staff members are able to purchase sweaters on our behalf at rock-bottom prices from these sellers. That’s how we’re able to provide a high-quality, handmade sweater for a student for just $15.

Because of limited funds, particularly at the close of the calendar year, we can’t give this special Christmas gift to each of our students without you. Will you consider a special year-end gift to Prakash Institutes that can be used to help purchase sweaters for our students?

For just $15, you can provide a sweater for a student like Rajat or Nidra. You’ll help make sure they are warm this winter — both on the outside, where Rajat’s arms were once raw and chapped, and on the inside, when Nidra realizes that another human being cares about her dignity and worth.

Or perhaps you can give $30 for sweaters for two students … $75 for sweaters for five students … $150 for sweaters for ten students … or even $300 for sweaters for twenty students!

People once asked Jesus, “When did we see you needing clothes and clothe you?” To which He answered, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:37, 40).

I can think of no better gift to our Lord at the celebration of His birth than to clothe one of His precious children in a warm sweater. Will you help? Please take a moment right now to fill out the enclosed response slip, drop it in the envelope with your most generous gift, and mail it today.

May God bless you and yours during this season of love and hope.

For His Kingdom,

Loren D. Eckhardt, Executive Director
Prakash for India

P.S. Most students are only with us for one year, and this may be their only opportunity to receive a sweater for Christmas. I hope you’ll help us help them with your generous tax-deductible gift. On their behalf, thank you.