By Chenoa McKnight
With a new non-profit organization, social events and humanitarian aid go hand in hand to make giving fun.
Three BYU students, Josh Budinger, Josh Brazier and Willis Nielson, started up the Kaiizen Foundation, which is hosting a Tsunami Relief Week to help Rising Star Outreach raise money for an orphanage in India.
?We want those of our generation to be involved and this can be their foundation,? said Nielson, a senior from Las Vegas, Nev., majoring in marketing and advertising.
The Tsunami Relief Week began Wednesday with an acoustic night that raised approximately $600. Friday night will feature live music at the Hollywood Juice Caf? in Provo for a price of $3. Relief Week will end Saturday with a dance party at the Provo Arts Center that has a $5 admission fee.
The goal of the members of the Kaiizen Foundation is to make giving easy and fun by mixing activities their peers enjoy, such as snow boarding and parties, with activities for humanitarian aid.
?We just realized that there were a lot of people who wanted to do something good but didn?t have an outlet, so we decided to start a non-profit foundation that was all about getting our age group involved,? said Brazier, a senior from Augora Hills, Calif., majoring in marketing and advertising.
During the Christmas holiday the foundation raised enough money to provide leprosy vaccinations for 533 children in an orphanage in India, with the help of another non-profit organization called Rising Star Outreach.
?Most people think leprosy has been wiped off the face of the earth, but it is rampant in India, especially with kids,? Brazier said.
Brooke Hunter, a representative for Kaiizen in India, said she estimated that the orphanages in India will see dramatic increase in the number of orphaned children because of the recent tsunami, which struck Asia?s Pacific coastline, causing hundreds of thousands to die. Many of those who were able to keep their lives lost everything else.
?We are trying to make a difference one life at a time,? Hunter said.
According to the Rising Star Outreach Web site, three to four 20-foot containers of medical supplies and clothing are needed to help Padma Venkataraman, a village near Chennai, India. Items such as daily vitamins for children and nutritional shakes that can substitute a meal are needed. The cost to send these containers full of supplies is more than $15,000.
Growing up in Arizona, Budinger remembers one Christmas when his ward collected presents to take to an orphanage in Mexico.
?My parents have always been big on giving and serving,? said Budinger, a senior from Littleton, Colo., majoring in international relations.
Inspired by their service-oriented childhoods and full-time LDS missions, Budinger, Brazier and Nielson, founded the Kaiizen Foundation. The Foundation focuses on raising money for orphanages in India, South Africa, Ghana, Brazil, Mozambique and Baha, California. They named the foundation Kaiizen, which is a variation of a Japanese word that conveys the concept of doing something good each day.
?There are a million things we can do in everyday situations and produce good but still have fun doing that and get that warm fuzzy feeling,? Brazier said.