New year's Eve Shrine

Notes from an Appealing Buddhist

On Fri, 28 June, 2013 - 13:38
Shakyapada's picture
Life on a Karuna door-knocking appeal

Day 34: Hitting targets, not hitting targets, or both or neither

The last day of week five and the heat is on for the Magnificent Seven of the Green Tara Appeal. The pace has picked up and the direct debits being collected are definitely on the increase.

But even though we are volunteers, these appeals still cost money to run, so our appeal target is based on a sound assessment of costs (in accomodation, travel, training, support etc.), and how much needs to be raised to cover those and leave a major amount over for Karuna’s projects in India. So far, between us, we’ve raised a very respectable £1051 in monthly donations - that’s £63,060 of income for Karuna over the next five years, enough to help a great many Dalits escape the poverty and degradation of their lives.

Yet, this is not nearly enough. Our actual target for the whole appeal is £1791 and with just 6 evenings to go we are still £739 short. So, between us, we need to find around £123 each evening in monthly donations. A big ask when we’ve averaged around £64 in the last four evenings. In practice, we are assured, the last week is always a blockbuster, but even so, it’s a daunting task and the Green Tara Team really have their work cut out over the remaining days and evenings. On the other hand we’ve all built up a lot of contacts, and we have our practice, our friendships, our sraddha (faith), and of course Green Tara to help us on our way.

Most significantly, over the last five weeks, we’ve learnt a lot about ourselves and about fundraising through the Dharma. So, as we enter the final phase of this appeal, I thought it would be good for each of us on the team to share our thoughts about what is important when knocking on doors and asking for long-term support.

Sanghamani says:
Start with your feet on the ground, rested and curious… an open heart and a focussed mind. With a willingness to connect, meet and be met. Bring all of you. If not… the bits you left behind will be waiting to meet you behind each door.

This is from Jamie:
Be authentic. Articulate from the heart, the work that Karuna does that moves you. If people are receptive, they will hear that and be inspired.

Dantacitta advises:
Be yourself and learn from everyone’s experience, respect and care for your community and, most of all, trust that even behind the most unlikely door, a Buddha is waiting to greet you.

Prakashika makes an observation:
On the basis of making a connection with people, it’s then a matter of getting clarity from them. Are they open to the possibility of helping, or are they just being nice? OR are they not being nice but might care?

Amitasuri says:
To begin with, pay urgent attention to however you are, wherever you are; be it as you walk towards your territory, as you stand in front of your first, and each successive, house. Notice what you notice - about the house, the garden, the door. Then, turn your attention inwards to be present to and take care of whatsoever arises in you. Be open, spacious, receptive and notice anything that is other than your true nature, which is reality itself.

Sally adds:
Be brave, even when bravery is not what you think. Tremble if you need to tremble, and know that your dragon can breathe fire when you are ready. Above all, go forth to connect with all life beyond those doors… and sing loudly.

And I’ll end with:
In the first intance, door-knocking is not about asking for money. Rather, it is about making a connection with another human being, and through that connection, giving them the opportunity to be kind, generous and compassionate to others less fortunate than themselves.

So here we go on the last stage of the appeal. At this point we have everything going for us: our friendships, our training, our passion for Karuna’s work and our hard-won experience over the last five weeks.

£739 to go

Will the Magnificent Seven, manage to pull out all the stops and make the target? Will the people behind the doors respond generously? Will Wimbledon and Glastonbury conspire to make this the wettest week of the year…

We can’t say but we do have umbrellas - and one thing is absolutely certain. Come rain or shine, over the next week we’ll be doing our very best to end this appeal on the highest possible note.

FOOTNOTE: Karuna doorknocking appeals raise money to help some of the millions of ex-‘untouchable’ people of India who live in extreme degradation and squalor. I believe that it is my moral responsibility to do whatever I can to help them escape the prison of the caste system. To help them achieve dignity, respect and basic human rights. I believe that this is also your responsibility.Please support the appeal. Please go to and download, complete and post-off the direct debit form. Just a few pounds each month will help to free a girl, a boy, a woman or a man from a life of that is truly hellish. If you add the reference LON B 2013 at the top, your generosity will count towards our appeal. Thank you.

Log in or register to take part in this conversation

Responses's picture
I’ve really appreciated reading these blogs Jenny. Love to you and the rest of the Green Tara team for your final week.