September 2011

1962-2012: TRAS Turns 50! Help us Support Our Himalayan Partners through PROJECT 50!

1962 – 2012: TRAS TURNS 50!



2012 marks TRAS’s 50th anniversary! Wow!

To honour and celebrate 50 incredible and successful years of funding grassroots projects that support children and youth in the Himalayas, TRAS is launching PROJECT 50!

Join us in making the world a better place for Himalayan children and youth!

Together we can:

  • Raise $50,000 in honour of 50 years of service!
  • Create a list of 50 different ways to raise $50 for TRAS projects – and then do them!
  • Inspire 50 new people to join TRAS!

PROJECT 50! GOAL 1: RAISE $50,000

A generous anonymous donor will match donations dollar for dollar up to $25,000!

So your donation will immediately DOUBLE!

Deadline for YOUR donation: January 31, 2012


Note: Individual sponsorships are not included in this offer, but are, of course, vital for the wellbeing of children.


A little goes a long way. You don’t need to raise a lot to make a difference.

What can YOU do to raise $50 for TRAS? Create a new idea, or do one from our list (see below). Help us come up with “50 Ways to Raise $50 for TRAS!” and help us do them!

Cheryl Sullivan, our Fundraising Director, held a garage sale in the summer. Ably helped by family and friends, she cleared out a lot of ‘stuff’ and made not just $50, but over $400 for TRAS! Way to go, Cheryl!

Cheryl's Garage Sale

Tell us what you did or are going to do so that all of us can be inspired!

Here are 9 ideas. Help us think of 41 more!

  • Hold a garage sale (see Cheryl Sullivan’s example above)
  • Ask your favourite restaurant to save bottles for you for two weeks, and take them to a bottle depot for the refunds
  • Hold a bottle collection at your place of work for a short period.  TRAS member Laura Kassama did this, and raised over $100 for TRAS! Read Laura’s story:
  • Host a Nepali film night in your home and ask for donations. TRAS can supply the film(s)! Write to Marina Guy at Read about TRAS’s Travelling Nepali Film Festival here
  • Host a TRAS handicraft sale in your home. Contact Armila at the TRAS office:
  • Ask your book club members to make a donation to help stock a shelf with books for a remote village library
  • In lieu of gifts for birthdays, Christmas, retirement parties, etc, suggest a donation to TRAS – choose a particular project or make a general donation. You can set up a gift plan through CanadaHelps on this website. TRAS Directors Lynn and Frank Beck did this at Frank’s retirement party, and raised $600 for TRAS!
  • Hold an online garage sale by advertising and selling items on Craigslist. Read Laura Kassama’s inspiring story
  • Do something creative, like TRAS member Jessie Kaye’s “Loonie for a Loo” fundraiser to help TRAS pay for toilets to be built in India’s Kullu Valley. Jessie built a life-size outhouse out of cardboard. People donated $1 to stick a ‘brick’ on it. Jessie sold hundreds of ‘bricks’ and raised hundreds of dollars for TRAS!

What are YOU going to do?


Let’s all talk about the fantastic work TRAS does to alleviate poverty in the Himalayan region and inspire 50 people to join us in supporting this work!

  • Tell others about TRAS and why you support TRAS
  • Share the TRAS website with your friends and colleagues
  • Forward the TRAS newsletter to your contacts
  • Invite your family, friends and others to attend a TRAS event
  • Ask your friends and family members if they would like to add their email addresses to the TRAS mailing list
  • Invite a TRAS Director to present to your organization or a group of your friends. For info, contact Armila at the TRAS office: or 604-224-5133

More info on TRAS’s 50th anniversary is in TRAS’s Fall 2011 newsletter, available here:

I am Happy to Help TRAS! What One Person Can Do

By Laura Kassama

TRAS member Laura Kassama shares two creative and easy ways to raise money for charity.


I collect bottles from the office and also from my home and any friends or family who would like to participate (sometimes they give me the bottles, but more often they give me the cash after they do their own recycling). I handle all the recycling and keep a log of the money I collect, and then I usually match the money I have raised with the bottle collection, and make the donation in the early part of the following year.

I have been running the program for approximately six years, and each year the overall donation is usually between $120 and $220. I have found that the donation itself is fairly small for the amount of work, but I like the idea that I’m helping others to be in the habit of recycling and it’s for a good cause. I consider this to be a two-fold program helping the environment as well as being able to benefit charitable work.


I also sell items I no longer need on Craigslist, and donate the proceeds to charity.

I haven’t involved others in this so far, but it would be an interesting idea to create an online “garage sale” benefiting an organization.

If a donor wanted to promote it, they could ask for help online with an ad that tells people about the organization they are planning on helping. Then they could let people know the results online, by posting a note like this: “Thank you for participating in the ‘Bazaar for Charity Event’. We raised $______ for the Trans-Himalayan Aid Society!”

I know many schools and other organizations that organize book sales, bazaars, bake sales and other types of sales that could be advertised for free on Craigslist and Kijiji.

Personally, I really like the idea of partnering with other organizations and groups of people to create greater community involvement – even if it’s just among my family and friends.

What can you do?

Join the Travelling Nepali Film Festival

By Marina Guy, TRAS Events Coordinator

After five engaging and inspiring Vancouver-based Nepali Film Festivals we are excited to introduce the travelling Nepali Film Festivals.

Now TRAS supporters across Canada can host their own Nepali Film events, showing their friends and families our most popular films while raising awareness and funds for TRAS.

We will provide travelling Nepali Film Festival organizers with everything they need to host their own event –a checklist for running an event, films (in DVD format), along with posters, promotional material and intro video if you need them. Hosts have the choice to charge a small admission fee or accept donations for TRAS projects.

Invite a few friends to your home to view two or three short films, find a meeting which needs a program (a service club, social group, Elder College, etc) or team up with a like-minded friend and find a venue where you can show a few films to the public.

TRAS member Pippo Damiano did just this in Tofino: booked the local hall, put up a few posters, borrowed a couple of DVDs of the Nepali films – and had a sell-out crowd. They turned people away!

These amazing films (documentaries and feature films) made by Nepali filmmakers are part of the emerging and vibrant movie scene in Nepal – and what material they have to work with: the world’s most beautiful mountain scenery, colourful pageantry, inspiring stories of difficulties overcome, realistic looks at some of the country’s age-old problems, and women making their mark in a traditional society.

For a taste of the films we have to offer in this exciting program, check out the previous Nepali Film Festival websites and look at the list of films:

Exciting news! The 1st travelling Nepali film evening, hosted by TRAS members in Hamilton, Ontario, on November 30, 2011, has raised $1,900.  Thanks to a generous donor who is matching project donations until January 31, 2012, this amount will be doubled to $3,800!

The 2nd travelling Nepali film evening took place in the home of a TRAS member in Chemainus, BC on December 16, 2011, has raised $200 – doubled that’s $400!

Thank you to these partners for their support!

Contact Marina if you’d like to host a film evening in your community:

Beyul: The Sacred Hidden Valleys of the Himalaya