A charity opportunity close to home


The Appalachian Online

Kevin Griffin

As much as we stress the importance of charity this time of year, charity creates a dilemma. How do we ensure that the money we give will truly support the cause?

Luckily, those of us at Appalachian State have an opportunity right now to give in a way that we know could do good.

Last spring, Nepal suffered two major earthquakes which devastated the country and have created effects that linger to this day.

Many of us may remember that tragedy, but how many have heard of the incredible link between that event and our own campus community?

Dinesh Paudel, a sustainable development professor, is a native of Nepal. Last summer, I sat down with Paudel to discuss what life had been like for him following the earthquake.

Following some initial uncertainty about the safety of his family, Paudel was able to find that his family had made it out alive, but that much of what they owned was destroyed. So was most of Saipu, his home village.

When I spoke to Paudel, he had already been to Nepal to see his family and assist in relief efforts. He said he would soon be returning and that he was committed to doing what he needed to do to help his community recover.

One of the most meaningful parts of that endeavor for Paudel is the reconstruction of Saipu’s schoolhouse. Paudel actually helped build the school originally in 1999.

The school was an important part of the community because of the opportunities it provided to the children of that village, particularly girls.

To help Paudel finance the rebuilding, some of his colleagues have set up a GofundMe page.  The goal is to raise money in time to have the school built before winter, according to the page.

They are trying to raise $14,000; so far they have raised just over $1,500.

For those looking to do some good, I strongly urge you to donate to this cause. Not only does it help fill an important need, but it will be administered by someone whose knowledge and passion ensure that the money will be used appropriately.

Paudel, by virtue of both his deep involvement in this community and academic background, is the perfect person to carry out this task. And we can, and should, help him do it.

This holiday season, we have a great opportunity to help a member of the university community and make the lives of some children much better. We should take advantage of that opportunity.

Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/vjbesrac.

Griffin, a senior journalism major, is the opinion editor.