From Hangtags to Hope / September 3, 2010
Sokol Packaging announces “Abraham’s Tent,” a non-profit charitable organization.
From print runs to pencils. Blister packs to bus fare. Hangtags to hope. How do you translate the success of an international printing company into the satisfaction of giving back to part of the world community? “With optimism, hope and a lot of determination and work,” says Steve Sokol, president and CEO of Sokol Packaging.
In September, 2008, Steve, and his partner Yasmin Ibrahim CFO, senior VP, established “Abraham’s Tent,” a non-profit charitable organization helping impoverished women and children in Guyana, South America. (*) The first fund raiser was held September 26, 2010 in Richmond Hill, New York. A portion of the proceeds were donated to Pakistan flood relief.
Yasmin, who is originally from Guyana explains that there is a great need in the country. “But there aren’t as many established charitable organizations as there are, say, in the United States, so we felt it was the right location for us to focus our efforts and make a difference.”
With the cooperation of Guyana’s Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, “Abraham’s Tent,” currently raises funds for two programs: “Sponsor a Child” and “Safe Haven.”
“Sponsor a Child” is designed to help children get an education. For $25 a month, a sponsor can provide an underprivileged child with transportation, school uniforms and daily lunches. “So many children lack these very fundamental things simply to go to and stay in school,” Yasmin says. “Imagine the waste of a mind when a child can’t get an education simply because he or she lacks the basics.”
The “Safe Haven” facility will offer abused women, underage mothers and their children a secure and nurturing place to live while they learn skills that will allow them to be self sufficient. Currently the foundation has purchased 10 acres of land in the region of Berbice to build the “Safe Haven” facility. Approximately $250,000 is required to complete the project, which includes leveling the land, creating a sewage system, constructing roads, planting crops, building a playground and erecting the facility. “We have set a goal to become self-sufficient through agricultural and other business initiatives within three years,” Steve says. “However we will raise funds yearly to cover operating expenses.
We chose “Abraham’s Tent” because both Yasmin’s father and mine are named “Abraham,” he explains. “It also has deep meaning in both our religious backgrounds. Charity is an integral part in our lives and beliefs,” Yasmin adds. “Ancient tradition says that Abraham’s tent was open on all four sides to welcome those in need from all directions. Steve and I envision our “new” Abraham’s Tent will soon be welcoming women and children– giving them a sheltering and secure place from which they can build better lives.”
Footnote: (*) Abraham’s Tent is a registered 501(c) (3) public charity. Currently registered in the U.S.A. and Guyana. 100% of all proceeds go direction to the mission of the organization. All contributions are tax-deductible