A little gesture of kindness can go a long way. When we witnessed the disparity in availability of basic resources, it motivated us to work for the cause. Clothes are a fundamental human requirement yet the most understated right. The mission behind CBF has been to collect garments that have outgrown their usefulness from the owners and use them to provide a dignified life to those in need. At CBF, we have built a unique support network across the nation which goes beyond just clothing.
It is deeply satisfying to indulge in an act of welfare but there can be apprehensions that the aid might not reach the correct destination. CBF realized there was a poor delivery mechanism for donations that lacked efficiency and credibility. We solved this problem with a simple yet powerful idea where donors can see the recipients via Facebook tagging. This gave more people the confidence to step up and support the cause, paving way for what we like to call our “little social revolution”. The group, which started with just Facebook as a medium has gained immense support in a short span. The response to our social media led donation process has been very encouraging. Initiated in early 2014, CBF now has an expanse in 15 cities with more than 23,000 happy recipients.
Our team of volunteers
It requires weeks of hard work to prepare for a usual drive. The process begins with answering queries and coordinating with donors to receive clothes but the real journey starts once the clothes have been collected. CBF has a colossal team of volunteers belonging to diverse backgrounds ranging from school students to working professionals and retired officers. We labour together for hours, segregating thousands of clothes into various categories. In each category, clothes are further arranged in accordance with the sizes, where clothes are frequently paired to form a complete set. The collection for months is separated in a day, approximately 2,000 clothes at a time. The next operation is choosing the site for distribution according to the categories of clothing. This is succeded by the hefty tasks of monitoring and coordination to ensure the care and support reaches the needy in time. At every donation drive, we click picture of the joyous recipients which are later posted on the social media to ensure complete functional transparency. Theses photographs are an inspiration for Team CBF as we feel lucky to have touched so many lives, whilst enriching our existence. Each CBF volunteer has a story to tell. Sajan recalls one he is especially fond of – On my second day of distributing clothes, I remember running into a young boy, Vishnu, who was full of giggles as he saw me walk towards him with my big bag of clothes. He told me about how his sister got clothes from me the last time and he was hoping to see me with something for him soon. When I gave Vishnu the only t-shirt I had in his size and asked if he liked it, he replied, “Blue is my favourite colour,” and ran that instant towards his mother who stood smiling in the distance. Vishnu holding that blue t-shirt is one of the many instances that inspire my commitment to this project.”
Kids at a distribution drive
Among numerous stories of compassion and countless smiles that we have shared and spread, we strive to extend our reach further. With 23000 homeless in the capital city of Delhi alone, an average of 826 people die every year due to harsh winters. CBF aims to reduce this number in the coming years. We invite you to be a part of this social transformation in your own small ways. In words of Mother Teresa, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Let’s brighten someone’s day by sharing a little warmth.