Striving to make a difference.
The perennial wise old man was taking a stroll along the beach one fine day when he spotted a little boy some distance away, busy casting strange objects into the sea. A close up survey of the scene served to shed light on the exact nature of the youth's endeavor. The receding tide had beached countless starfish, leaving them stranded on the glistening sand, unable to return to their habitat on their own. Overcome by their plight, the youngster had taken it upon himself to lend the starfish a helping hand, tossing them back into the sea one at a time. Realizing the futility of the situation, the old man spoke up. "Look around you boy", he said, "there are hundreds, if not thousands of these creatures strewn all over the sand. There is no possible way you can help them all. And even if you did, tomorrow, there will be thousands more that will once again wash ashore. So you see, what you are doing will not make a difference; you are just wasting your time here." Unfazed, the little boy picked up yet another starfish and defiantly hurled it into the air. While pointing at the sea creature streaking towards the ocean, he turned and met the old man's gaze and exclaimed "but I made a difference to that one didn't I?"
The preceding Chinese proverb is the perfect antidote to the discouraging sentiments that sometimes loom over us when contributing to benefit the destitute. The notion that what little effort we can muster or what little resources we can spare will not make a difference in the grand scheme of things is often an obstacle that tends to dampen the best of altruistic instincts. However, the smallest gesture on our part, when timely, can translate into a tremendous effect in someone's life. FRIENDS strives to make a small but meaningful impact on the ongoing problems of poverty and suffering that besiege the downtrodden in Sri Lanka. While we entertain no dilutions of devising a panacea that will one day pre-empt the foes of hunger, homelessness and other social ills which we battle, we do hope to bring about a real difference in the lives of those that benefit from our assistance.
With your support, you have already made a much welcome and vastly appreciated contribution towards making a beneficial change in someone's life. We hope that you will continue to support our efforts in the future. Together, we CAN make a real difference!
In order to structure the fund raising activity and enable proper planning, both on the part of the institutions in Sri Lanka as well as the donors, it is preferred that donors initially pledge monthly contributions and renew them thereafter as they see fit. This, however, is strictly for planning purposes and there is never a continuing obligation on the part of the donors. Contributions may be discontinued at any time. Contributions of any amount are always welcome, including non-recurring contributions. We thank you in advance for your support whilst reassuring you that your generosity is not overlooked in the thoughts and prayers of those that it benefits.
If you are interested in joining in the activities of FRIENDS or wish to make tax-deductible contributions, please write to:
19434 Amhurst Court
Cerritos, California 90703
Make checks payable to : Clarendon Foundation