Never underestimate the power of lunch. While other chapters were organizing dinners with the community supporting AID, volunteers in San Diego opted for lunch.
While worrying, as chapters usually do, about the turnout, the volunteers had one more meeting to organize, and that was a talk at the University of California, San Diego. Ten students attended, all very keenly interested in participatory democracy and just development. The perfect energizer to prepare for the next day.
For several days the event approached volunteers worked late into the night preparing the posters and presentations. At the Royal India Restaurant we met volunteers who had been with the San Diego chapter since its earliest years, such as Priya, Jay and Suhas, as well as Malini who was part of the front lines of AID volunteers in College Park in the 1990s, before moving to Boston, Mumbai, and eventually to San Diego. They came with their children, who had been introduced to AID projects, particularly those related to children such as Eureka! There were also a number of people who had donated to the chapter but not attended a meeting. Before the program began they looked at the posters, asked questions and continued talking with volunteers as well as other community members after the program.
It was very clear that an event like this was important for people who cared very deeply about the issues AID addresses. There are relatively few settings where people gather to discuss and understand these issues and strategies for sustainable development and social justice, connecting global and local, within India and beyond. While the 50 odd people who attended the lunch are not likely to attend weekly meetings, they are likely to attend such a program once or twice a year.
Of course the chapter fervently hoped for more volunteers and so the previou
Report by AID San Diego: Patron Appreciation Lunch- June 1, 2014
Scenes from the Lunch