TANA CARES Initiatives

 

  1. 1. Bone Marrow Drive

It is said that “Saving one life is like saving the entire world”.

Every year, thousands of people of all ages are in desperate need of bone marrow transplants – it may be their only chance to survive. Some patients with aplastic anemia, leukemia, lymphoma or other cancers are lucky – they have a family member who is genetically matched.

However, about 70% of people aren’t as lucky. None of their relatives are a match. Their lives depend on finding an unrelated donor, like you or me, who has a compatible tissue type.

Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) registry – as matches are most often found between people of the same ethnic group. Increasing the diversity of the marrow donor registry is literally a matter of life and death. If more people from more ethnic backgrounds join the registry to donate marrow or stem cells, more people who need a marrow transplant will find a life-saving match. This is a specific issue for Telugu community as there are very small numbers of Telugus and people of Indian origin in the NMDP registry. The more people from our background join the bone marrow donor registry, the more patients from our background are likely to find a life-saving match. Members of our ethnic heritage are especially in need where we need to step up and save people especially those who belong to our ethnicity.

 

How to organize this drive: There are many foundations that help us to organize a bone marrow drive once we contact them they will guide us step by step to make this drive happen however

 

We will be partnering with the Be the Match Registry of the National Marrow Donor Program. The objective is to promote enrollment of people of Telugu origin in the registry so that it becomes easier in future to help Telugu victims of Blood cancers and other blood diseases that benefit from bone marrow transplantation. The chances of a match are higher from a population of similar genetic pool, and the number of people of Telugu people on this registry is very small and we want to increase this number substantially. To do so, we should publicize this widely and have these drives at each program that TANA conducts or participates in.

We actually began this partnership during the 20th TANA Conference itself by having an information and enrollment booth at the 20th Conference in Detroit on July 3 and 4. Tarita Gibson, a volunteer from Be The Match Program was there on both days. V.R. Chinni from Dallas facilitated this.

There is also a web link where people can enroll directly: http://join.bethematch.org/TANAcares

 

  1. 2. Autism Awareness Seminar and Workshop:

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted and repetitive behavior – usually noticed within the first two years of a child’s life. The incidence of autism is raising rapidly and many Telugu families have children with autism. Depending on the degree of the disorder, this can be severely limiting to the child and places a huge burden on the family who may not be aware of all the resources available to them.

TANA will associate with Autism Parents Hub (http://autismparentshub.org/) which was established by Praveen Kumar Gurramkonda, himself a parent of a child with autism, serving the autism world through bringing awareness to autism families to make their lives better. This group conducts workshops that are well designed with programs, seminars and practical training that can be a great help for the families to make their lives better.

New data from CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network show that the estimated number of children identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to rise, and the picture of ASD in communities has changed.

The latest report states that one in 68 children has autism, a 30 percent rise over the last estimate released in 2012, US health authorities said March 27th 2014. This new estimate is roughly 30 percent higher than previous estimates reported in 2012 of 1 in 88 children (11.3 per 1,000 eight year old’s) being identified with an autism spectrum.

In India, due to the lack of Autism awareness and knowledge of treatment options leading to a misunderstanding about autism among the parents, who may either misdiagnose or under diagnose the condition. In rural areas and small towns, diagnosis and treatment of autism is difficult because of the lack of facilities and doctors capable of autism diagnosis.

Most of the families migrating to cities or travelling for hours or days to get the help and support from hospitals.

More Autism Awareness Facts

As stated by the Autism Society of America:

  • Every day 60 American families are told they have a child with autism.
  • As many as one out of every 150 babies born will have autism.
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States
  • Autism is growing at an alarming rate of 10 to 17 percent each and every year in America.
  • More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined.
  • One in 150 children with autism are now 14 and older.
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the public funding contributed each year to fight all major childhood diseases.
  • 1.5 million Americans have some form of autism spectrum disorder.
  • Autism costs America an estimated $90 billion annually.
  • The cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention.
  • In 10 years, the annual cost will be $200-400 billion.

 

How to organize this awareness seminar and workshop: Praveen Kumar (founder of APH) can help with this and will come down to various regions to deliver the Autism awareness seminar and will also conduct Workshop for the kids with Autism with the help of parents. Anjaiah Chowdary Lavu, TANA Community Services Coordinator, will coordinate all the logistics to make this happen in your region.

 

  1. 3. Blood Drives

Blood drives (in association with American Red Cross) can be organized as our TANA's signature event in all the regions so that we can display TANA's commitment to be a leader when it comes to community service. 

Anjaiah Chowdary Lavu, TANA Community Services Coordinator, organized these blood drives in the past and presents the following details which can be helpful in initiating a blood drive in your region.

Some important information that he used at previous events is presented here to share with the community and motivate them to give blood.

Ø Blood donation during regular days is normal, but blood donation/helping towards blood donation during the times when the blood levels are at critical low and American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood donations is truly “Special”.

Ø Normally in June, July and August blood donations are down more than 10 percent across the country, with 50,000 fewer pints of blood available than expected.

Ø There is almost half the amount of Red Cross blood available today than there was this time last year.

Ø Every day, the Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 pints of blood for patients at more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

Ø Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion.

Ø because blood donations are down across the country, it is crucial we do everything we can to ensure your upcoming blood drive is successful.

Ø Your effort can make a significant impact in someone’s life. Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons. It could be used for the little girl with a rare blood disorder, a family member fighting cancer, or a friend involved in a car accident. A supply shortage means that blood may not be available when it’s needed most.


Here is some more additional information about Blood Donation.

Someone needs blood every two seconds. One donation can save up to three lives. That is powerful.

Donating blood may be one of the most important things you’ve ever done. It is a safe and easy process which takes approximately 45 minutes (Actual blood drawing only takes 10 min). Generally, anyone aged 16 or older (16 year old donors require parental consent), weighing at least 110 pounds and in good health, can donate blood. There is an eight-week (56 day) waiting period between donations.

We understand you are extremely busy. One out of five people who enter a hospital will need a blood transfusion. Blood donation is the act of giving life. Although the whole process can take up to an hour of your time, it can provide an entire lifetime for a local patient.

If you are healthy and weigh at least 110 pounds, you have 10-12 pints in your body and can easily spare one pint. You should be able to donate regularly every eight weeks without any problem. The fluids in your body are completely replaced 24 hours after donation.

Donate blood and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment knowing that you have helped save lives.

How to organize a blood drive: Go through the below link and this will give you all the details needed to initiate a blood drive:http://www.redcrossblood.org/hosting-blood-drive

 

  1. 4. Tax Saving Seminar

This is very relevant and timely topic for our Telugu people and this seminar will offer general tax system in detail and will touch upon various facets of the system like Basic Income tax structure, tax saving opportunities (401K, HSA, FSA, 529 plans, etc.), valid and invalid adjustments and deduction, child care credits, higher education credits and many more. This will also cover the concepts of the corporations (LLC, S-CORP) and the also the retirement contribution options within them. 

This seminar will also cover the taxation of income from India, what needs to happen and the concept of Double Taxation Avoidance agreement (DTAA) and briefly touch upon repatriation opportunities.

How to organize this Seminar: You need to find a good CPA in your region who has knowledge and expertise in the above mentioned areas.

 

  1. 5. Last Will and Testament Seminar

Despite recognizing the importance of having a Last Will and Testament, as many as two-thirds of Telugu people do not have one. The reasons for this range from simple laziness to discomfort at the thought of one’s own death. For many, thinking about their own death makes the concept real. As long as they can avoid thinking about it, they can ignore the inevitable.

Unfortunately, failing to plan for one’s death won’t prevent it from happening. Because of that, it is important to write a Last Will and Testament.

Every Adult Needs a Will

While people often think that only the elderly need to have a will, it is advisable for adults of all ages to have one. It is especially important for parents of minor children, even if they don’t have significant assets. Without a will, the government decides who will become your children’s guardian. In order to have a say in who will care for your children—should you die before they reach adulthood—you must draft a Last Will and Testament to state your wishes.

Even adults without families can benefit from having a Last Will and Testament. You have worked hard to earn what you have—your home, your car, your bank account—shouldn’t you have a say in how it will be distributed in the event of your death? Without a will, your wishes will be irrelevant, and the state will decide how to distribute your estate. Precious heirlooms, that you may wish to give to a friend upon your death, will instead be sold at auction and the money will go to the government. In order to make sure that your estate is handled according to your wishes, and that your money is given to a friend, charity, or other organization of your choice, you must draft a will.

According to the United Way, 60% die without a Last Will and Testament, leaving the government to decide how to divide their estate. If you want to have the final decision about how your estate is distributed after you pass on, a Last Will and Testament is a vital document.

Keep Your Will Up-to-Date

Once you’ve drafted the will, it’s also important to keep it up-to-date. If you have a new child after you draft your will, you must update the will to include that child, even if you wish to state that the child will receive no part of your estate. In most jurisdictions, if you don’t name all of your heirs, they or their legal guardian(s) will have the right to contest your will.

In order to make sure that your will is up-to-date, you should review your will after the following events:

  • You get married or divorced (a change in marital status may void your will);
  • You are unmarried, but have a new partner;
  • The amount of money and/or property you own changes significantly;
  • You move to another jurisdiction (some states do not recognize out-of-state wills as valid);
  • Your executor or a significant beneficiary in your will dies;
  • There is a birth or adoption of a child in your family;
  • You change your mind about the provisions in your will.

No Excuse

While the legal fees associated with hiring a lawyer to draft a will are a deterrent for many Americans, the number of inexpensive, do-it-yourself options that are available eliminates this obstacle. It is now quick and easy for anyone to write their own Last Will and Testament.

Given the number of easy-to-use, low-cost alternatives to hiring a lawyer to draw up a will, there is simply no excuse not to plan for the inevitable. As uncomfortable as it may be to think about it, we are all going to die. By drafting a Last Will and Testament, you ensure that your family is taken care of, and that your estate is handled according to your wishes—not the will of the government.


How to organize this Seminar: You need to find a good CPA or Para legal in your region who has knowledge and expertise in the above mentioned areas.

 

  1. 6. Immigration Seminar

This seminar should cover the latest legislative immigration developments, up-to-date information released by INS, and the most recent trends in immigration law. This should also cover various types of non-immigration and immigration petitions available, its pros and cons, and the necessary steps required for each procedure.

Each seminar should be tailored to include the relevant immigration issues that are of interest to the attendees. This seminar should be designed to be informative yet entertaining. Each seminar should be composed of two parts: a presentation and a Q&A session. The presentation should covers a wide variety of relevant immigration issues and is presented using PowerPoint slides. The PowerPoint presentation typically should last 1-2 hours, followed by a Q&A session. During the Q&A session, audience should have the opportunity to ask any immigration-related question. The Q&A session can last anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours, depending on audience participation.

 
How to organize this Seminar: You need to find a good Immigration Attorney/Para legal in your region who has knowledge and expertise in the above mentioned areas.

 

  1. 7. College Planning Seminar

Admissions and Financial Aid Seminar and what it takes to get into College Today

In this seminar we should focus on:

  • A time-line for success—where you should start in the college planning process.
  • How important are SAT & ACT tests and how do colleges value them.
  • What the more selective colleges really want to see in your student’s application.
  • The financial aid systems and how they work.
  • How to maximize your student’s potential to receive scholarships, grants, and forms of merit-aid.
  • How it’s possible to attend a Private College for a Public College Price.

Success with College Sports – Right Team! Right School! Right Price!

This seminar should include how to maximize the chances of playing on the right college sports team as well as finding the best opportunities in college while making it as affordable as possible. This should include tips, advice on how to be a college athlete, what coaches are look in for, how to get noticed by coaches, how can help get your student into “Top Colleges” and how athletics play an integral role in life development

Admissions and Financial Aid: What It Takes To Get Into College Today

This seminar should include what it takes to get into college today including the financial aid system and how it works; how to maximize your student’s potential to receive scholarships, grants and other forms of merit-aid; the importance of the SAT & ACT tests and how colleges value them; and what the more selective colleges really want to see on your student’s application. You’ll be shown a timeline to successfully complete the college planning process and how it’s possible to attend a private college for a public college price. 

Creating Path to College

High school years are critical in the college planning process. There are so many tasks that need to be done and dates that you need to be aware of. This seminar should give students a timeline of what to do throughout their high school years so they’ll be ready to apply for colleges. Students will also learn how to keep track of important events and successes in high school and create a resume they can continue to work with as they progress through school. In addition, they should learn about the differences in the ACT & SAT tests and gain an understanding as to which test they would do their best. 

How to Pay for College 

This seminar should explain in detail what the two EFC formulas are, the differences between the two, what assets increase the EFC, the financial aid system and how it works and case studies to show how need and merit monies can be received. 

 

How to Organize this Seminar: You need to find a good SME (Subject Matter Expertise)in your region  in the above mentioned areas.

 

  1. 8. Toy drives, Cloth drives and Food drive for Foster or needy children

We know that many under privileged children living in foster care. Many have suffered the effects of poverty, neglect, and even abuse. Studies show that for many foster children, the challenges are just beginning.

Each year, over 10,000 children enter foster care. The majority of foster children have at least one chronic medical condition. Foster children experience four times the emotional problems as their peers. Foster children average three different placements, and nearly half do not return to live with their biological families. Foster children repeat a school grade twice as often as other students. They score 15-20% below other kids on statewide tests. 37% of foster youth drop out of high school, compared to 16% of the population. At age 18, 61% have no job experience and 1/3 end up on welfare. Within 18 months of aging out of the system, up to 50% of foster youth become homeless.

So having mentioned how early in their childhood that foster children are deprived of needy things like Toys, Food and clothes throws us great opportunity to bring a smile to these deserving children.

 

How to organize these drives: Even though state government takes care of the foster children still there is huge need for Food, clothes and Toys. So we need to locate foster shelters in your local area and find what they need (sometimes they tell you specifically what canned foods they need), clothes etc. We can plug in drop off containers for Foods, Toys and clothes at our key Indian hang out points or famous joints in your local area and request your friends and families to drop off the things which they are willing to donate and collect them.

 

  1. 9. Yoga Workshop

Day to day life has become hectic and very difficult to find time to spend for ourselves. It is almost mandatory for us to live and lead a healthy life so that we can enjoy the bliss of life.

This seminar should cover how important is yoga in our daily lives and how we can fit yoga in our daily schedule. This should also cover how to accommodate small movements throughout the day. Unwind and relax at the end of the day. It should also cover Asanas, Mudras, Pranayama, Meditation, and Relaxing techniques.

How to organize this workshop: This perhaps is very easy to organize as we can find lot of yoga teachers in your area.

  

  1. 10. Health fairs

It is norm that we think most of the people have health insurance but contrary to our thinking there are quite huge number of people who doesn’t and especially visiting and old Indian parents fall in this category along with other ethnic people.

Health Fairs are shining beacons of outreach of medical services and vehicles of social service and welfare for the disabled, aged, and needy and neglected in the society. This throws us a great opportunity to conduct these to help the needy.

Trend of Health fairs is that people of diverse nationalities and cultures avail these free consultancy and tests services provided by physicians from different specialties.

It is need of the hour to organize these Health fairs and should offer  blood tests, EKGs; glaucoma and vision screenings; preventive Cardiology tests, Bone Density tests to detect osteoporosis and free Consultancy in, Ayurveda medicine, Internal medicine, Family Medicine, cardiology, chiropractice,dentistry,dermatology,endocrinology,gastroenterology,homeopathy, OB/Gyn.,ophthalmology,orthopedics,surgery,psychiatry,and physical therapy are offered free of cost. Many, including elderly and disabled people will be the most beneficiary.

Health Fairs are shining beacons of outreach of medical services and vehicles of social service and welfare for the disabled, aged, and needy and neglected in the society

How to organize Health fairs: It is considerably difficult task to organize health fairs when compared to other events as it requires lot of physicians, specialists, technicians, and volunteers and also involves complex venue logistics. The easiest way is to find local nonprofit organizations who are specialists in this area and have done multiple health fairs in the past and try to collaborate with them by providing necessary financial and volunteer assistance from TANA.

Prepared By - Anjaiah Chowdary Lavu