My Trip To India, How to Get There and What Happens When I Do

My first ecobag Tote Bags. It is sold.
My first Ecobag Tote Bag.  It’s sold.

For the past few nights I’ve been waking up at 3am and thinking about my trip to India.  My mind starts spinning with what I need to do to make it happen and what I’ll do once I’m there.

I’m thinking about the $6000 I need to raise for the trip  and all the different ways there are for me to do it.  I’ve decided to do a crowd sourcing with Indiegogo (Luckily I have Jon’s help, he’s a pro when it comes to this kind of thing) and even before doing that I’ve had people making donations (thanks again to Jon for blogging about it) to my paypal account and sending checks.

It feels weird for me to write this, I’m not used to asking for money, but I’m committed to making this trip a reality.  So if you’d like to donate you can wait for my Indiegogo.  Of if you’d like to donate sooner, you can  do so through my  paypal account at [email protected] or by sending a check to Maria/India Trip PO Box 205 Cambridge NY 12816.( Thank you)

Jon made the first “donation” when a friend paid him to take some photos of her daughter.  And my friend Kim (who used to sew my potholders.  “Imagine” I said to her, “the potholders doing good in India”) handed me a card with cash in it.

That same day I saw Heather from the bead shop at the gas station in town.  She suggested donating $2 from every pair of socks (you know those socks that Jon and I wear)  she sells between now and the Bedlam Farm Open House in October.  Yes! I said and gave her a hug. (I’ll let you know more about that later).

Then Susan messaged me about possibly getting a matching grant. (working on that too!)

All this happened in just a few days.

But I’m also thinking of other ways to raise money.  I keep picturing a quilt made from some dreams  Jon had a week or so ago.  The one with the dancing goddesses and Shekinah in a chariot ( I see a chicken chariot) and trees with fish in them.    Someone mentioned the idea of my auctioning off my Rapunzel Chair, (which I’m open to doing)  but shipping would be a problem.   It would be easy to auction off a quilt.  And I can see this one very clearly. A joyous quilt where women of all ages are dancing in control of their own destiny.

Then Ruth left a comment on my blog, asking if she could support my trip by buying four of my potholders for $35 each.  Yes! I wrote back.  Such a  fun and creative idea.

And I’ve also been thinking about those kids in the “daycare” making those shopping bags.  And I thought of my tote bags.  I just bought my first new Tote from a company called EcoBags.  (I sold the 30 totes a friend originally gave me which got me started on the whole tote bag thing).  It’s a socially responsible company (fair wage, labor and trade) with their factories in India.  I could donate some totes and permanent markers to those kids.  They could do their drawings and sell their bags.  (I’d be sure to post pictures on my blog).

And what about that bracelet I made for Jon for his birthday, from the fabric Kenna sent me.  It was so simple to make, could I teach them to do something like that too?

Then,   Sarah offered some fabric scraps, perfect for potholders, if I’m bringing fabric with me.  (I have no idea if I am or not, so many questions yet to be answered).

My feet are twitching like a cat’s tail and my mind is buzzing with ideas and “things to do”.   When I get nervous, and I do, I think about those girls and women in Kolkata and what they’ve been through.  Perspective helps keep me balanced.

So may people who have been to India write and tell me going there will change my life.  I think it already has.


8 thoughts on “My Trip To India, How to Get There and What Happens When I Do

    1. Great idea Mandy, so good I wrote about it on my Indiegogo and anyone who donates $100 or more, through paypal or by sending me a check will be able to get one too.

  1. That’s all well and good, Maria, but how you can expect other people to pay for a trip that you WANT to take (not NEED to take)???!!! Cyber begging is definitely the appropriate term. Just like asking for money to buy your sewing machine or Jon’s camera and lenses. These are YOUR expenses!

    Buying a puppy and a pony when you were threatened with bankruptcy were bad decisions; that money might have allowed you to pay for things that you want to have now, like this trip to India.

    The expectation that others should pay for whatever new thing or adventure you want is simply morally wrong.

    1. It’s not an expectation or a moral issue Tara. It’s a choice. You can contribute or not. This is a good cause and I’m glad to be doing it. And you’re making assumptions about how Jon and I spend our money which is really not your business.

  2. Jon mentioned “gifts for the women there”. Along with cash, of course, are there specific items you need to bring as gifts? I’m thinking a type of drive for those items as well (I’m thinking like a toiletry drive for the local homeless or drives for our military overseas etc). I’d certainly contribute to both….

    1. Thanks for asking Marcia, I’m not sure yet what they would be. Dahn is in Africa right now and she’s my contact person. I have a lot of questions for her and this is one of them. I’ll be sure to write about it when I know more.

  3. Tara, the idea that helping the victims of sex trafficking is immoral is a novel idea. Bankruptcy is not a life sentence or death sentence, we are allowed to live our lives and pay our debts in a responsible way, which we have done. The purpose of bankruptcy is not to avoid debt, but to pay debt. Like many others, we were caught in some storms that are not your business and certainly not Maria’s fault, as she married into them, a reason I feel I need to reply. Otherwise, you deserve to be ignored, it is a testament to Maria’s openness that she put up your message, I doubt I would have.
    For the record, the pony was free and this trip is a wonderful way of helping people in need. I find your idea that only the wealthy can help people to be offensive. If you don’t agree, then don’t contribute. Asking for help is sometimes a noble thing. For the record, Jesus loved the beggars, washed their feet, he always helped them out. Me too. I don’t think he would have liked your message.

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