What motivates someone to give to Our Daily Bread? We caught up with Kowsilliya Ramnaresh, Ph.D. to find out!
Kowsilliya and her husband have been donating bananas to Our Daily Bread every week since October 2020. When we saw bananas coming through our donation door each week, we wondered what was going on, and before we knew it, Kowsilliya sent over a link to a blog post she had written about giving up Starbucks to fund her donations.
She wrote, “when the Covid-19 lockdown started in March 2020, it became difficult to get Starbucks. I had no choice but to make a change in my caffeine consumption. I bought a Nespresso machine and started making coffee at home. After making this change, I began to think about making the best of this forced change in my life.” Kowsilliya figured out she can use the money she used to spend on Starbucks to fund 100 bananas a week, or 5,000-6,000 bananas a year! That’s huge.
Bananas are quite loved around Our Daily Bread, for a number of reasons: They’re self-packaged, so we don’t have to use extra materials to serve them. They’re full of great nutrition like vitamin C and potassium, which is wonderful. They’re easy to eat for our guests who often have dental problems and trouble eating other fruits like apples. And of course, they’re delicious!
One day, we noticed a couple new names on the sign-ups for fruit, and we were surprised to learn that Kowsilliya’s family had gotten involved. Of course, we wanted to find out what brought on this great addition, so we reached out to Kowsilliya:
“What I realize, sometimes people are not sure how to give back to a community and/or they do not believe their money is actually be used for helping others. When you give money as donation, it is not tangible outcome – you do not always see what happens to the money you donate.
“The way I got our family involved, is one, I sent them all the article I wrote about “Does giving up Starbucks Coffee make a difference?” and I showed them your location when they came to visit us and explained the impact of donating fruits to the soup kitchen.
“Once our family was able to see something that was tangible and showed that the fruits actually go to the homeless populations, they asked if they can donate. For example, every month now, my parents (who live in New York City) would send money to me to buy fruits for the Soup Kitchen, for them it is tangible, and they know they are helping others.
“My husband and I know what it is like growing up with not having enough food, and this is own way of helping others that maybe in the same situation. For me, I believe no matter how small the act/donation is, it can make a difference. We make it part of our financial plan to give regularly to different charities.”
At some point, buying and dropping off bananas every week became part of Kowsilliya’s routine. At Our Daily Bread, we’ve had other volunteers and donors who make Our Daily Bread part of their life and routine, too- from supplying flowers for our dining tables to making a monthly donation of funds, there are so many people who find ongoing fulfillment in helping those in need, and we are so grateful for every person who supports this important work.