A majestic red-bricked building covered with white archways rises from the shores of the Hooghly River in Kolkata. It is the Howrah train station, a place called “home” by thousands of orphans and runaway children, who have been forced to the street by poverty and despair. But in this underworld there is a ray of hope. The Danish charity LittleBigHelp has opened a shelter in the area. To raise money for this and other projects in Kolkata they use BetterNow as online fundraising platform.
“We cannot help everybody, but we can help some. And we do.”. LittleBigHelp has a sincere and credible approach to charity, and with this mission, they make a difference with every cent they collect. The organization runs a pre- and primary school, an adult learning center, a 24 hour shelter for homeless children in Kolkata, and an orphanage.
BetterNow’s online fundraising platform fits well with LittleBigHelps approach to fundraising. On BetterNow everyone can start their own fund- raiser, it’s easy to use and you can donate directly to a charity. LittleBigHelp have been quite successful with peer-to-peer fundraising, and they were the first organization to raise 1 million kr. on BetterNow.
Volunteering for the street children
Growing up in immense poverty Raj Kumar ran away at age ten, and to cope with the harsh realities of life on the street he started sniffing glue. After three years in the bewildered underground world of the Howrah station, Kumar got help from LittleBigHelps shelter and now he is off the glue and reunited with his parents.
Raj Kumar is one of a few fortunate. But thanks to fundraisers such as Jannie Wolf and Kristina Mortensen LittleBigHelp is able to reach out to more children in the streets of Kolkata. The two recently graduated schoolteachers wanted to do something good for needy children, and besides volunteering for four months in Kolkata, they also managed to raise more than 26.000 kr. (€ 3.600) through their own fundraiser on BetterNow.
Companies also start fundraisers on BetterNow. A medical company arranges a charity football game at an otherwise boring congress, a brewery sponsors festival tickets to a charity contest and a company donates their income from certain lectures. These are just a few examples of how companies through online fundraising manage to do a difference for Raj Kumar and the thousands of street children in India.
Once a year Lisbeth Johansen and LittleBigHelp assemble all their volunteers and corporate connections to a charity gala. With close to everything sponsored, a lot of volunteer help and a crowd of wealthy and generous guests this event raised almost 1 million kr. (€135.000) in 2013.
Throughout the night BetterNow showcased donations on a projector where guests could see their own name and comments – hopefully in- spiring to generous donations.
The Hilton Gala night is in every way spectacular and very essential to our work. Not least thanks to BetterNow, who handles payments in a secure, trouble free and transparent fashion. They are a highly valued partner. – says Lisbeth Johansen
As a rather small organisation LittleBigHelp needs all the help they can get, and through BetterNow they have made it easy for followers to act on their motto, which is that “a little help from you is a big help for us”.
Results on BetterNow:
- Fundraiser: 120
- Average fundraised per fundraiser: 2419 euros
- Amount fundraised in 2012: 76074 euros
- Amount fundraised in 2013: 102447 euros
- Total amount fundraised: 290353 euros.
In 2007 Lisbeth Johansen quit her job as Head of Sales at a Hotel Chain in London, and travelled to India. Three years later she founded LittleBigHelp in order to help street children in Kolkata to a better life. Today they manage several schools and a homeless shelter, and are about to launch several projects to help girls on the streets of Kolkata.