Thursday, April 10, 2014

Did you know??

Did you know that this is National Volunteer Week?  To celebrate we released a new video! 

Get a glimpse of the fun and hard work that our Rising Star Outreach Volunteers do.

Help us be a most watched video this week and like and share this video with all your friends.  

Visit the website to get more information on session dates and costs

"To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world"
                                                                                          --Josephine Billings

Monday, April 7, 2014

President's Letter: Do Something

“One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.”
                                                                                              Henry David Thoreau

Last month I shared how Rising Star Outreach got it’s name, and that this year we are celebrating ten years of being an NGO. We are also celebrating the beginnings of the school that first year with 27 children. It’s exciting to reflect on these years and the tremendous growth that has transpired since then; however, I must backtrack and recognize that there were many years before the school began, where much work was taking place to get us to the place where we could even apply for registration in India as an NGO.

We, at Rising Star, express sincere gratitude to the many many dedicated people who spent hundreds of hours, made personal sacrifices, and served in India—all as volunteers—in making the Rising Star Outreach we know today. Their hands and hearts and dedicated service are an integral and important part of the Rising Star Outreach story, and we extend appreciation to those individuals for the blessing of their service!

Speaking of volunteers and volunteering-We’re looking for a few ordinary people with extraordinary hearts! Our summer sessions are filling up, and we have also added several new sessions throughout the year. Don’t miss out on this unique life-changing experience! It’s an incredible opportunity to see firsthand how human suffering is still a challenge for so many in the world and how you can personally make a difference in individual lives. You can gain new skills, make new friends, benefit from work experience, give something back, and have fun. Above all, it’s an opportunity to do something different to make a real difference in the world.

Ann Herlin, a recent volunteer, shared this:
“Working with the volunteers was a remarkable experience for me…I saw volunteers experience joy and excitement as they taught and played with the students. There was a change in their hearts as they touched and hugged those whose lives are so very hard, but who are also a thankful and happy people. There was magic as I watched volunteers who came to India and Rising Star thinking they would help others, then see the change in their lives as those affected with leprosy graciously gave joy to those serving them. That’s the magic of volunteering!”
Questions?  Email Us

Rising Star India
March and April are important months for the students and staff, because it is testing time on the Rising Star  Outreach Campus. Everyone is engaged in this process, as it is the culmination of all the hours dedicated to knowledge and learning throughout the year. In 2013, our school, the Peery Matriculation School, received the distinction of being the #1 school in the entire Kancheepuram District out of approximately 563 schools, and our Principal, Mr. Anthony Xavier, received the Honorable Minister of State Award, given to those who work with children. Our school is now recognized as the top-tiered school in that area! We are proud of the students, and especially grateful for our Principal, Mr. Xavier and our dedicated and amazing teachers who continue making education a blessing to these students. Because we know:
                                               Education gives options and opportunities.
                                               Education ends the cycle of poverty.
                                               Education removes the stigma of leprosy.
                                               Education creates hope!

Congratulations to our students and teachers for making education a priority and blessing!

In March I traveled to India for the dedication of the Kikindia Health Center for Rising Stars, a beautiful new building for the medical and dental care of students and those we serve in the leprosy colonies. Kiki Reijner, from the Netherlands, founded Kikindia after working with children and witnessing their struggles of surviving in India—hence Kikindia (her name, country, and  ‘kind’ in the middle, which means children in Dutch)—an organization helping children!

She heard about Rising Star Outreach, was impressed with the mission of the organization, and offered to assist children at Rising Star. She and many donors from her country raised the funds to build the Kikindia Heath Center for Rising Stars.

The dedication was a beautiful event for the Rising Star administration, management, staff, and students and especially for Kiki and her guests from the Netherlands. Songs, speeches, the lighting of the ceremonial candles, and dances performed by Rising Star Outreach students and choreographed by Kyla Threlfall (Promethean Spark Coordinator), made it a special day for everyone.

Now Rising Star Outreach has a beautiful, functional, and a much needed medical building on our campus, which will help students who are ill, be quarantined from other students without exposing all students to the flu or to a horrible cold. Students will also receive regular medical and dental check-ups.  Our medical team will be able to store records and medical supplies for those in the leprosy colonies, and on Parent’s Visiting Day some of our patients can also be seen. Cheers and much gratitude to you, Kiki,  Kikindia, and to happy and  healthy children!

It’s humbling to think of all the people who have done ‘something’ in helping Rising Star Outreach, and it’s exciting to see how the mission of Rising Star Outreach goes forward in assisting with medical care, education, and micro-grants.

Many years, many hands, and many hearts collectively lifting those affected by leprosy…so many positive possibilities ahead! Thank you for your continued support. We could not do it without you!

Happy Spring,

Sally Read

Rising Star Outreach

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How to sign up to Live Below the Line

Join thousands across the globe April 28-May 2nd and take a stand against poverty. That’s right, in just 25 days individuals with Live below the Line and Rising Star Outreach will live on just $1.50 a day! Are you ready to begin?  Join a team or network online or start your own! Raise funds for change and together live the challenge for five days! Let’s get started:

Step 1: Visit and click the sign up button.

Step 2: Partner with Rising Star Outreach to fight against poverty! Click the sign up button under Rising Star Outreach. 

Step 3: Select your media of choice to campaign with Live below the Line by clicking on your preferred icon.

Step 4: After making your selection fill out the information as requested to create your personal profile. 

Step 5: Last Step! Fill out your goal, chose to join a network or create your own. To join Rising Star outreach, select “Rising Star Outreach” as your network. Make it personal and provide a brief explanation as why you are taking the challenge. 

Challenge Accepted!
You now have your very own Live below the Line account! Explore the possibilities while recruiting friends and family to take up the challenge and donate to end poverty! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Live Below The Line- Will you take the challenge?

Challenge Accepted!

Rising Star Outreach invites you to participate in a global movement to fight against poverty. Live Below the Line is an awareness and fundraising campaign designed to help people better understand the challenges faced by those living in extreme poverty. Over 1.1 billion people in the world live on less than $1.50 a day, poverty that plagues and perpetuates leprosy colonies in India everyday. 
Rising Star Outreach has accepted the challenge with Live Below the Line and want to invite you to do the same!  

How you ask? Join with thousands across the globe April 28th- May 2nd and live on a total $1.50 a day for food and beverages.

Invite your friends and spread the word!  Poverty can be resolved and it all starts with you.  You know how! Post, tweet, gram... anything to help get the word out, we can't do this without you. Partner with Rising Star Outreach and give to those whose life is affected by leprosy and help them rise above it.


Yes! I wa
nt to fight against poverty!
  • Visit Live Below the line online and partner with Rising Star Outreach
  • Create your personal fundraising page
  • Start a team and tell all your friends about what it means to live below the line
  • Put your budgeting and cooking skills to the test April 28th- May 2nd and live on $1.50 a day
  • Use social media, blogs, your voice or another way to share with friends, family, and the world. Be an advocate to those that need you.  You can use: #belowtheline #belowthelinechallenge #rsobelowtheline  #risingstaroutreach
Things you will want to know April 28th-May 2nd:
  • You have a total of $7.50 to use to buy all ingredients for all of your meals for 5 days
  • You can't grab a snack from the pantry unless you count the cost of the item within your budget
  • You can use food from your garden as long as you account for the price of production
  • You cannot accept ‘donated’ food from others
  • You can count tap water as being free                                                
Check out Live Below the Line Online for additional cooking ideas. Here are a few suggestions of inexpensive and staple ingredients that you may want to include on your shopping list: Rice, Beans, Chickpeas, Corn, Tomato Sauce, Noodles, Eggs, Carrots, Onions, Canola Oil, and Garlic.

Think you can do it? Join the cause and cross that line; together we can lift those with leprosy.

Need more help or have questions?  You can contact me at or call the office at 801.820.0466.

Best of luck!  

Monday, March 31, 2014

6th Annual Dancers Making a Difference

The Bunker Dance Center is hosting the 6th Annual Dancers Making a Difference in Las Vegas again this year.  The Benefit Dance Concert is going to be held on April 22, 2014 at 6:30 PM at the Cashman Center Theatre.  Tickets can be purchased for $15.  All proceeds benefit Rising Star Outreach.
Kathy Bunker, owner/artistic director of Bunker Dance Center started "Dancers Making a Difference" in 2008. After hearing Becky Douglas speak at BYU's Education Week in 2006, Kathy felt the urge to "do something" for this wonderful organization called Rising Star Outreach! It took a couple years to carve out the time and plan for a dancer's benefit concert but she was determined to help in some way! 

What started as a small gathering of three studios in a church has expanded to 8 studios and hundreds of dancers as we prepare for the 6th Annual Dancers Making a Difference!
If you are in Las Vegas please don't miss the chance to see some amazing performances from talented dancers from all over the Las Vegas area.  The dancers from the Bunker Dance Center have incredible instructors, some of their past and now known as  Red Carpet instructors are world famous including Stacey Tookey and Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo.
  Please come and support!
If you want to see a little from last year CLICK HERE.

Coins for Kindness

Sometimes we like to highlight a group or individuals that are examples of Change Agents. This next group are using their change for change.

Jeanie Owens from Towne Meadows Elementary School explains how her school is making a difference:

"Here at Towne Meadows Elementary in Gilbert, AZ I formed a club about 7 years ago called RAK, or Random Acts of Kindness. We do various service projects throughout the year to benefit the less fortunate. This year during National RAK week in February we chose Rising Start Outreach as the focus of our service project. We distributed collection jars to each classroom teacher for them to collect coins from their students. We called it "Coins for Kindness". At the end of the week we collected all the jars and totaled up the money collected to prepare to send it off to Rising Star Outreach. This was a well received collection by all and we are thrilled that we could help raise over $300 and make a difference in the lives of children that are in great need."

"We choose to "fill" buckets rather than "dip" into them."

We would like to thank Jeanie Owens and the Towne Meadows Elementary School for their support and kindness to those in need.   Their donation of $300 is going to the Perpetual Colony Education Fund.  This fund aids those students who attend local schools if they are not able to attend Rising Star Outreach's school due capacity availability.  The fund helps pay for transportation, school supplies, mandatory uniforms, etc. In 2012 these grants were given to 116 and in 2013 they were given to 153. These grants are repaid each year, growing the fund, so more families can receive this help to send their children to school.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Article: Condemning Discrimination, Dalai Lama Tells People Affected by Leprosy Never to Lose Hope

TOKYOMarch 27, 2014 /NEWS.GNOM.ES/ —  To see the online article CLICK HERE
Photo from:
It would be hard to overstate the rapturous welcome given to the Dalai Lama when he visited a community of people affected by leprosy in India recently. The feeling was clearly mutual. “Dear brothers and sisters, I am extremely happy to come here and see you,” the spiritual leader told a crowd of 500 at the Kasturba Gram Colony in Tahirpur Leprosy Complex, New Delhi, on March 20.
After clasping hands with as many people as time permitted, the Dalai Lama gave an address that resonated with his audience. “Seven billion human beings are all equal,” he said. “People should not look down on others. It is totally wrong. Discrimination is a sin.”
Discrimination is something that people affected by leprosy know only too well. Their disease pushes them to the margins of society, denying them opportunities for education and employment, destroying marriages and restricting access to healthcare and social amenities. Even after treatment, the stigma can last a lifetime.
In the face of leprosy’s challenges, the Dalai Lama urged his audience never to lose hope and to go forward with “courage and self-confidence.” In a show of support, he promised to donate Rs. 1 million (approximately US$16,400) to Kasturba Gram as well as a portion of royalties from his book sales over the next five years.
India has some 850 self-settled leprosy colonies that are home to around 200,000 people. Recognizing the need for these communities to speak with a common voice, in 2006 the Nippon Foundation supported the establishment of a nationwide network now known as the Association of People Affected by Leprosy.
“Leprosy is not hereditary. It is not highly infectious. It is not a dangerous disease,” said APAL’s president, V. Narsappa, “There is no need to isolate us. We are equal members of society.” He also called for the discriminatory term ‘leper’ not to be used.
The Dalai Lama’s visit took place at the suggestion of Nippon Foundation Chairman and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination Yohei Sasakawa, who underlined its significance. “I am certain that the words we have heard today from His Holiness will give tremendous encouragement to people affected by leprosy and their families across India and throughout the world,” he said.