The joy of volunteering : A beautiful journey | Tanaya Patnaik | TEDxXIMB

The joy of volunteering : A beautiful journey | Tanaya Patnaik | TEDxXIMB

the pleasure of going inside a shop browsing through the various options available and then picking up something that you like something that you need something that fits you or the feeling I love shopping and I'm sure almost all of us indulge in this pleasure from time to time I do not want to get into poverty statistics but talking of shopping it's a little disturbing to fathom that a vast portion of our population is so so poor that they haven't ever had a chance to even enter a shop in their entire lives forget about actually buying something now imagine a streetside store where the poor can come and do a little bit of shopping for free with respect with dignity and that's exactly what the street store is all about the street store is the world's first red free premises free pop-up clothing store for the poor homeless and needy it was founded in January 2014 by Mark pisaq and Kaylee levitron in Cape Town and because homelessness is a universal problem they decided to make it open source so the best thing is now anybody can host a street store in their area city or locality all you need to do is register on the official website decide on a date and a venue ask for donations from your friends family the public set up a store with the receive donations and then create a unique shopping experience for the poor and the homeless and short although almost all of us at some point have given away clothes and other things to the needy and that's wonderful but the whole idea behind the street store is to give them a dignified shopping experience where they can come and choose whatever they want for a change not just make do with what's handed down to them as charity I was extremely fortunate to be able to host a street store in Malaysia on the 23rd of October last year it was the 34th in the world and the first in India apart from being an extremely fulfilling and enriching experience there's plenty that I learned from it and taking a cue from Michael I'm trying I'm gonna try not to make a speech but take you through my journey of the streets tour through eight important lessons that I learned from it lesson number one follow your instinct I first got to know about the streets tour from a link shared by a friend on my Facebook feed and I was so overwhelmed with the unique initiative that I immediately registered to host one in boognish sha without giving giving it a second thought and now I think that if I would have pondered too much at that time I would have been maybe bogged down with various apprehensions like will I have the time to do it will something like this we acceptable in Orissa what if I fail and amidst all these doubts would have eventually ended up not doing it so although it is always wise to think things over and contemplate before getting into something sometimes if you feel really strongly about a cause then just go for it things will fall into place number two this was an important life lesson because I realized irrespective of how motivated I was however inspired I was it would have been impossible to host the streets tour without them conditional support of a team I work for a local radio station and I was extremely fortunate that my team shared my enthusiasm so starting from visualizing the whole event to inviting donations on radio and social media to collecting and sorting clothes to connecting and spreading the word to the homeless a core group of ten and another thirty volunteers on ground were actively involved in the streets tour and it's amazing a group of highly motivated individuals can accomplish when they come together and work as a team lesson number three this has to be one of the most fun parts about being a volunteer volunteering gives you the opportunity to completely forget yourself and be someone else and live someone else's life for a few hours or days in my case I got to play the role of a clothes shop manager so from organizing the look and feel of the store to managing queues outside the store keeping stock of clothes to customer satisfaction it was some experience so if you are passionate about something but do not have the time for it in your busy lives or if you're bored with your monotonous job then volunteering is a great way to forget stress and release positive energy I personally think I completely fail as the clothes shop manager so next time maybe I'll try my hand at teaching the underprivileged or maybe gardening the options are endless you just need to find out the time lesson number four volunteering is an excellent learning process the streets talk of me was a mini life event people management resource management leadership planning execution accounting all this and much more with a blood donation camp or a charity fair or even a TEDx event for that matter when you volunteer you get a broader view of things and you end up learning so much more that isn't there in the textbook lesson number five creativity catches the eye the street store was an exceptionally unique concept the whole idea of having a store with the quirk in shop for free touched a lot of hearts to be very honest if it was just a regular donation drive for a charitable cause I don't think I would have been that affected from my experience what I gathered was if you really want to involve a lot of people and generate a larger response for your charity event apart from making sure that your efforts are genuine and sincere you need to add a little bit of creativity to it think out of the box do something different because like smart phones and MBA courses sadly the word charity – has become a routine affair so to involve more people in this busy world you got to do something different shara can be fun exciting happy doesn't always have to be serious and poignant lesson number six it is not easy volunteering for a noble cause doing something good charity all this sounds extremely nice and fancy but trust me it's not as easy as it sounds I remember how disappointed we were when scores of impatient homeless people yes the very people for whom we were organizing the whole event broke the barricades barged into a store and literally threw everything upside-down to be fair it wasn't really their fault because something like this was happening for the first time in Tunisia the whole idea of them picking up whatever they like from a shop like setting without having to pay anything was pretty alien to them so they were excited but they were apprehensive probably thought what if all the clothes got over when their turn came so there was a point when a bunch of them barged in and ransacked the whole place there was utter chaos there was nothing left of the store and at that time all emotion of charity all noble intentions all thought of doing good vanished anger and frustration took over the whole idea was to give them a dignified shopping experience right so you can't be rude and tell them to get out yet you have to be form not easy we were so disappointed and helpless at one point we considered just going back home and giving up but like they say giving up is the easiest thing to do in the world so we took some time sorted it out slowly cleared the place called in more volunteers and set up everything else again this was an important lesson because realize nothing comes easy in life that they are born to be ups and downs and bottlenecks and getting over these and carrying on is the ultimate experience it is important to give back to society volunteering for the street store or any other cause has always made me realize how fortunate and blessed I am this might sound extremely cliched but yes we need to give back to society it is each of our responsibility to contribute positively to the community some do a lot some do little but doing absolutely nothing is just not cool again very cliched but yes every bit counts there are a lot of people who have dedicated their lives to social service and they can joy out of it but come on nobody expects that from us but I don't think there would be anybody in this room who would say that they do not want to contribute at all we all do but the reality is we all are busy with our lives our jobs our dreams our ambitions and we are happy and busy and content dealing with that but it's just a matter of prioritizing and taking out a bit of time once in a week once in a month anything is good enough let's number eight the world is full of good people when we started inviting donations a one major fear was what if we don't get donations what if people don't turn out but within a week donations started pouring in in overwhelming numbers heaps and heaps and heaps of clothes till we literally had no place in the office to store them we were amazed by the number of people who wanted to be a part of this cause and most of the donors said that they would love to donate regularly but they just did not know where and how to do it safely we were more than happy to be a medium for them more than 250 well-wishers donated at the street store and more than six hundred underprivileged shopped there and still today we get calls from around the state and the country inquiring about the street store the lesson that I learned here was it is really easy to think that there isn't any good left in the world anymore but in reality the world is full of good people wanting to do a lot of good we just need to find an excuse to bring all these good people together the street store was one such excuse you just need to find out what your excuses if an idea is simple sincere and selfless it has the power to become a movement the street store was one such idea till date there have been more than 152 street stores around the world that day when we shut the store and went back home we were completely exhausted spent but there was the mad sparkle in her eyes and a weird joy in our hearts and when we were asked what was it that you loved about the street store somebody said the smiles in the faces of the children when they went back home with shopping bags in their hands somebody else said the tears of gratitude in the eyes of the old man who found a pair of shoes for his blistered feet I still don't know what the street store was all about but all I learned is that be it and the street store or any other cause volunteering means giving giving your time your energy your efforts your money your heart volunteering is giving yourself without expecting anything in return and whenever we give without expecting anything in return a certain kind of happiness is conceived that cannot be described in words it can only be experienced here are some glimpses of the street store that was organized in Benicia and the 23rd of October music you you you you you you you you you you you thank you very much

13 thoughts on “The joy of volunteering : A beautiful journey | Tanaya Patnaik | TEDxXIMB

  1. Heart Touched, Great Execution, And True Inspiration. A Biggest Initiative And The Proud Indian. A Great Lesson To Learn From Here. Thank You A Lot. Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Kudos To You All.

  2. absolutely beautiful, and brilliantly presented as well. thank you for putting a smile on those people's faces!

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