Benefit Dinner – Help Tibetan Organic Farmers to End Poverty and Hunger




The first live event for the People Feeding People Outreach is planned and is sure to be an event you’ll want to attend (and we really want you there).

October 17, 2013  

Location: The Garden Room 215 West Dickson St., Fayetteville, AR  72701

Menu: Indian Feast featuring local farm fresh foods prepared by Chef Jasson Henderson and Greenhouse Grille Chef Jerrmy Gawthrop

Live Music featuring: 3 Penny Acre, Cutty Rye and Don’t Stop Please

In addition to good food and music we will have raffle items and a silent auction.

All proceeds will benefit the India project to continue our support for economic develop of Tibetan Organic Farmers while we address food insecurity and feed hungry people. If interested visit the EVENTS page (link on left side menu).

SEE the Early bird special now until September 1st. Sign up now and get your tickets for $20.00 per person.  Just fill out the Comment Form on the Events Page and let us know you are interested (names for the guest list) and donate through paypal $20 for each person who plans to attend. Early ticket sales will help us tremendously with planning as you all know we are grassroots and run on a very very tight budget.

Help us to help others:

July PFP  Distribution was successfully made on July 31st to the sponsored families as we again delivered lentils, a more nutritious protein enriched option. Currently the rains have been heavy during monsoon season so farmers are not able to work the fields.

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Our current activities have been to express interest in a USAID grant which we will hear the end of August if our project is shortlisted and invited to apply for the grant. Our plan is to support Tibetan Organic Farmers with hoop house/high tunnel production in order to advance their production. As well, my part time employment with the Farmers Market is providing me the opportunity to advance my network with movers and shakers in the local food network. I have been collecting information on programs that we can share with the Tibetan farming community to empower them to adopt farm to table programs, and farm to school programs. All this in an effort to help their community to become more self reliant and sustaining. The program also has a component to help Indian families to develop small sack gardens to help develop their ability to be more self reliant with more nutritious options.

We are happy to have awesome sponsors for our benefit dinner which will help to establish the first Hoop House/High Tunnel and sack gardens which is referred to as Phase II. Thanks to the following sponsors and we hope to add more:

The Garden Room, Fayetteville Farmers Market, The Fayetteville Roots Fest, Greenhouse Grille and NWA Local Harvest.

Your compassion and generosity is always appreciated. As we prepare for the Benefit Dinner we are in need of support in many ways:

Volunteers, Promotion (sharing our pages), food donations, pre sale tickets, and items for auction/raffle.

Please keep in touch and don’t forget the early bird tickets are available NOW until Sept 1st.

Thank you all for everything you have done to support the project.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

Director- Pennies for Partnerships’ People Feeding People Outreach




Justice for ALL

Happy Belated Independence Day to ALL and Happy Birthday to His Holiness the Dali Lama

July 4th- I am writing today as I reflect on what this day means to me personally. After my long stay in India I have come to realize more and more that this day has greater significance than I ever realized. I sit and ponder with full gratitude the idea of freedom to make choices so inherent to development our own identity. I consider what it must be like to live with oppression in each day; what it must be like to have your freedom restricted or your liberty taken from you. On this day I consider the many Tibetan refugees and all refugees who live displaced from their families and homelands due to the powerful who impose oppressive policies that restrict freedom. My wish is for all people to have happiness and with that comes the basic freedom to choose personal paths in life which I believe is all encompassing of the values in the Declaration of Human Rights.

On this day we celebrate our Independence but we do not forget all those who continue to strive for freedom.

July 5th- I am also reminded of the reasons behind the commitment to this project Pennies for Partnerships and how it is generated through the practice of compassion for others. In the fast paced prosperous society we live in it is common to overlook the needs of our brothers and sisters in distant places whom we have not met or encountered; yet it is important to maintain that compassionate quality which doesn’t forget those who may be faced with struggles unique to our own experiences.


All sentient beings deserve happiness….. this is the compassion message of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Pennies for Partnerships was initiated in 2008 as a fund raiser to support the development of Tutors for Tibetans, a TCIA initiative, and Tibetan Women’s Association. I was privileged to travel abroad in 2008 with the first University of Arkansas TEXT:Tibetans in Exile Today project.  The initial introduction to the Tibetan community involved interviewing and recording the stories of the elder population, activists’ and religious leaders’ stories of strife due to the struggle for basic human rights.  Over the years your generosity and contributions to Pennies for Partnerships has supported educational programs, economic development programs, human rights publications, along with food and clothing assistance for both Tibetan and Indian families.


It is an exciting time as once again the TEXT students have returned from India and while traveling to Mundgod Dr. Sidney Burris, Ven Geshe Dorjee and the students had an opportunity to meet with the Tibetan Organic Farmers and the Settlement Representative to discuss Pennies for Partnerships’ collaboration with the University of Arkansas Horticulture Department and the Tibetan Organic Farmers. The development of possible programs with the U of A will take time but for now we will continue to support the Tibetan Organic Farmers with the purchase of their goods at fair market value and distribute them to the sponsored families.


on June 25th the farmers distributed to each sponsored family the monthly gifts of  a 15 kg bag of organic gram (lentils) made possible with your compassionate donations. We have July delivery scheduled for the end of the month and will soon be faced with the need of generating additional funds for the coming months to purchase the organic foods for the families in need.


Fund raising benefits and activities are in the planning phase for the future development of Greenhouse or High tunnel technology but at this time we are also asking for donations to cover the $15.00 monthly food supply per family. If you or anyone you know may be interested in making a donation for $15.00 or more it will feed a family of five for close to a month, and support organic farming practices at the same time.


Pennies for Partnerships-People Feeding People is a volunteer outreach and 100% of your donations go to support Tibetan and Indian families, in India, who grow the food, distribute the food, and receive the food.

Please know how much the food assistance is appreciated and please donate to the cause to help fight poverty and hunger while supporting ethical environmental practices. Your support is greatly needed.

Donations can be made through Paypal (button on left sidebar) or through Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas (501c 3) website

If you wish to mail a check Please remit payment to:


PO Box 269

Fayetteville, AR

72702-0269 US

Thank you again for all your generosity and compassion over the past years. I enjoy being your messenger of giving and hope to continue in the years to come, as long as the support is there and people feel to give to the project.

With gratitude,

Leann Halsey

Director – PFP



Pennies for Partnerships- People Feeding People Outreach

Hello, Tashi Delek and Namaste,

Pennies for Partnerships started in 2008 as a fund raiser to support existing programs in the Tibetan Exile Community in India. We currently contribute to the economic development of Tibetan Organic Farmers in South India with an outreach to address hunger in the surrounding community. Over the last two years Pennies for Partnerships has focused on raising funds to purchase organic rice direct from the farmers at a fair market value to distribute through the outreach People Feeding People to communities in need that experience food insecurity.


In 2011, upon my visit to India I discovered the concern for the Tibetan Organic Farmers; they were falling deeper into poverty each year due to an underdeveloped organic market in India and climate change. Issues such as 60%  of all fields in the community went fallow due to monsoon rains coming too early and farmers faced the loss of their entire annual income. The Tibetan Organic Farmers have taken the initiative to start agroforestry which combines forestry cultivation of fruit and nut trees along side the normal crops.  Fruit and nut trees can take up to five years to bear fruit; therefore the Pennies for Partnerships project will be pushing forward with the development of sponsored greenhouses to offer the farmers a secondary source of income growing organic vegetables  to be sold at local markets.

The Tibetan Organic Farmers are working as agents of compassion in the People Feeding People project as they themselves work towards sustainability. Tibetan Organic Farmers distribute rice purchased by PFP to the doorsteps of families who live on less than a dollar a day and struggle with food insecurity. PFP sponsors 20 families and over the past year each family was gifted a 55 pound bag of organic rice monthly in an effort to support Tibetan Organic Farming practices and eliminate hunger for the sponsored families.

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Due to the slow development of the organic market distributors have been paying the same low market rate to the organic farmers as for conventional produce. This inherently has over the years caused an annual decline in the farmers income forcing them lower into poverty. The Pennies for Partnerships project purchases direct from the farmers in order to increase their profit.

Recently we were notified that the farmers have a surplus in pulses such as Red Gram, Black Gram and Cow Peas.  We agreed to purchase the Red Gram because the farmers have the largest surplus and the risk of loss is very great if the product is not moved. Red Gram is high in protein (22%) and another important staple food item in India.

On May 1st the red gram was delivered to the sponsored families. A few days later the agriculture officer, Jamyang visited the families to speak with them about the change. They were pleased with the red gram and so we will continue to work with the Tibetan Organic Farmers  to rotate throughout the months between pulses and rice.

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Below is a recent report from the Tibetan Organic Farmers which provides more details to the farming community.


Back ground:

This settlement is one of the settlement proposed by Central Tibetan administration in early 1960’s to the Government of India .Thus the Government of India consultation with state government of Karnataka agreed to provide 4,000 acres, mostly forest land near Taluk village in North Kanara district. Doeguling Tibetan Setttlement in Mundgod was established in 1966 and at the beginning the Settlers were provided with tents and bamboo huts for temporary shelter along with free dry rations, and all the settlers worked together on cooperative basis.

Settlement Location

This settlement is situated in Tattihali in Mundgod Taluk of Karnataka state, India .The nearest airport and railway station is Hubli which approximately 45 kms away. The altitude at Mundgod is approximately 1800 ft above sea level and the temperature ranges between 78 degrees – 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average rainfall of 42’’ to 45’’ annually. This settlement is one of the largest Tibetan refugee settlements in India.


For many years the world saw rivers and underground water contaminated and unit for drinking as an immediate consequence of green Revolution and through reckless use of chemicals by farmers. Worse still, such practice is also responsible for rapid deterioration of the climate condition and unpredictability in climate in the world at large. In view of many reports of large scale destruction devastated by the extremities in natural phenomenon like flood , storm etc , responsible citizens of the world are now taking initiative towards reversing the trend by way of encouraging people to gradually switch over to organic farming – farming free from chemicals.

Tibetan Exile Government Policy on Organic Farming:

*Our main purpose of the organic movement is to encourage our farmers on organic farming as a sustainable alternative in reviving Indian Agriculture, especially in areas where the indiscriminate usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has resulted in loss in soil fertility and productivity with adverse effects on water quality, soil, plant and human health.

*Recognizing the importance of organic farming in Indian Agriculture: our Tibetan government in exile has taken various initiatives to promote and support organic production in order to sustain self reliance which we can enhance our soil fertility where we have been practicing chemical farming that proves very harmful to our mother earth and its biosphere.

* Over 60% of Tibetan population in India subsists on agricultural occupation. In 2002, Tibetan exile govt in India adopted a new policy on organic farming in the interest of Tibetan farmers switching to organic farming. Since the inception of new policy there are 978 farmers practicing organic on 4050.98 acres of land in twelve major agricultural settlements based in India.

* In order to convince such alternative agriculture farming practice to farmers in large we need to assure them premier price on farmers produce and of reposing trust that farming is economically viable to them. Though our farmers are producing different types of organic crop they are unable to get premier price on organic produce.  To date Mundgod settlement has 393 farmers who have started organic on 1298.30 acres of land. Mundgod has the largest number of organic farmers compared to other Tibetan settlements. The total size of land allotted to the people of the Mundgod settlement including the two monasteries and nine camps is 3055 acres, out of which 1298.30 acres are under organic and remaining 1756.7 acres of land is gradually expected to come under organic farming in the next few years.

Awareness program on Organic Faming

Ever since the inception of organic farming policy set by the exile Tibetan Government, the farmers have shown great zeal , enthusiasm and interest in organic farming. Since the initiation of organic farming activities in the Mundgod settlement, the agriculture extension officer has played a vital role in providing many basic training on organic farming methods. Constant field visits and direct interaction with farmers have encouraged the farmers to follow appropriate techniques of organic farming practice.

The whole settlement area was fully treated with soil and water conservation project supported by Australia, by constructing bunding, waterways, farmpounds, gully check, percolation pond , eathern dam and check dam are some of the methods implemented in the settlement. Tree plantation on bunds and hedges was part of the projects initiated by Representative office.

To educate the organic farmers of Mundgod, with financial and moral support from Department of Home – CTA Dharamsala, Doeguling Tibetan Settlement Representative’s office has organized various trainings, presented demonstrations on making ideal compost manure and agriculture extension officer visited every household to offer guidance on their practice and at times guests are invited to share their knowledge and resources to the interested trainees.

Market for Organic Product:

Based on policy and guidelines by the Department of Home –CTA, the organic products are primarily consumed by the farmers themselves, whereas the organic surplus is marketed through FTCI and local Tibetan Co-Operative Society. All the farmers who are practicing organic farming are registered under organic certification through IMO Control Pvt .Ltd.

In year 2011, with kind support from Department of Home-CTA Dharamsala, Mundgod settlement opened an Organic Retail Outlet to sell organic produce direct from producer to customer. The initiative focuses on creating awareness of organic food consumption for better health, and provides a facility for farmers to sell direct farm to table. Presently, the organic outlet is managed by the organic committee under the supervision of the settlement office.

Being registered as organic farmers, the farmers have Organic certification. The organic outlet sells certified organic goods to the Tibetan settlers, tourists, and other clients who buy on bulk demand.  One aspect of organic farming where we must work harder is the avenue for better marketing for organic produce and educate people about benefits of choosing organic not only for one’s own health but for the larger context of environmental reasons. This awareness has been done through organizing exhibition and food festivals focusing on organic.

Some of the common organic crops grown at Mundgod:

Some of the most common seasonal crop grown in Doeguling Tibetan Settlement are paddy (rice), white maize (corn), millet, Tor Dal (Red gram), cow pea, pulses, mango, sapato(fruits) and green manure , while in Rabi some of the crops that grow well in dry season are green gram, black gram, horse gram and different kinds of vegetables are grown in one’s yard.

Buy back agreement with potential organic buyer:

One of the most immediate problems is no assured buyers for their produce. Though we have taken an initiative to settle the problem with opening an outlet but still it has not entirely found a market to sell their surplus produce. The Pennies for Partnership continues to provide a great support by buying our organic rice on a monthly basis since Sept’2011 and they are one of our supporters in terms of our market. Last year, we have been approaching prospective organic produce buyers as they could contract with larger herbal or organic companies on condition of buy back agreement on economically viable crop and other normal practicing crop. At present, a few select medicinal herbs are grown on trial on 0.10 acres of land on a contractual farming with Himalaya Drug Company, Bangalore. The company will facilitate and provide maximum input for cost of seed and transportation.  Additionally, they have cost assured the farmers they will purchase at premier price on certified produce.


Farmers of Doeguling Tibetan settlement are working so hard to be successful in organic farming and to create an awareness of the environmental issues as well as the healthy and nutritional option of consuming organic foods.  We still need support to our farmers to get good production and in marketing our valuable products produced by the farmers.

Farmers need a huge amount of Manure to get good yields. They are preparing the manure in their farm yard but still it is not sufficient and need in-kind support.


We would like to thank all our supporters for promoting this organic farming project in Doeguling Tibetan settlement.

Prepared by:

Agriculture Extension Officer,

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If you or anyone you know is interested in getting involved to support the Tibetan Organic Farmers in India please contact me directly at or send a direct comment to this page.

The continued effort to support Tibetan Organic Farmers will focus on the development of Phase II with greenhouse cultivation once we locate our experts with knowledge to share. Until then we will continue to deliver the products to the sponsored families as long as funds permit. At this time we have funding for 3 to 4 months of delivery. If you would like to donate a bag of organic rice or pulses to a family in need please donate $15.00 through the paypal button on the left.  100% of your donation will go for the purchase of food as we are a volunteer outreach grassroots project.


Thank you for your continued support to the Pennies for Partnerships- People Feeding People outreach.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey- Director



We Stand with Tibetans

On this important day March 10th we stand with all Tibetans who have for 54 years requested basic Human Rights!


We especially stand with the exiled Tibetan community as the long struggle continues.

Over 160,000 Tibetans have fled to India since 1959 and numerous settlement camps continue to be temporary residence for thousands as they wait to return home.

The Tibetan Organic Farmers of Mundgod have taken an important initiative to adopt organic practices with the wish to return back to India the pristine lands they have resided on since the early 1960’s. Tattihali Settlement Camp of Mundgod, India was the second settlement camp to be established in India.  There are currently 9 camps and several Buddhist monasteries which make up a population of 20,000 or more  Tibetans in the Mundgod area. The Tibetan farmers have been returning the land to the rich minerals of organic soil as the ethical practices of organic farming are implemented.

In 2011 we discovered the situation of the Tibetan Organic Farmers with great need for support, as issues of climate change, water problems, and poverty were affecting many farmers. Pennies for Partnerships’ – People Feeding People Outreach aligned with the farmers to show support to the principles of organic farming, we well as to continue to remain in solidarity with Tibetans in exile.

The Tibetan Organic Farmers continue to benefit from the Pennies for Partnerships PfP outreach as we continue to purchase rice from the Tibetan Organic Farmers at a fair market value to show economic support to the farmers, then we gift the rice to those who live with food insecurity and hunger in the surrounding community.

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The last two months, January and February 2013, concluded the 1 year pilot program for the People Feeding People outreach. We will soon be hiring an independent party to conduct the post test evaluation with the 20 families who have been recipients of the rice contributions. The outcome study will provide the opportunity to establish best practices and move the program into phase II development.

Phase II development consists of sponsored Greenhouses/Shade houses for covered gardening with the potential to secure a secondary source of income with sustainability. Additionally, the Phase II Greenhouse/Shade house would consist of a giving forward gardening program to grow a small amount of starters for permaculture gardens in the Indian village where PfP sponsored families can grow their own vegetables and establish self reliance.

We are currently seeking volunteers to share their knowledge in the development of the greenhouse planning.

We also will continue to support the Tibetan Organic Farmers with the purchase of rice to be donated to those who have food insecurity in the surrounding community. The 25 kg (55 lb) bag of rice costs approximately $15.00 and will support a family of 5 for approximately two weeks of a staple food item.

If you or anyone you know is interested in donating or contributing with knowledge please share our information.

Donations can be made through Paypal (see the button on left side bar) or visit the official non-profit site of Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas

or Mail to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas, Inc.

Pennies for Partnerships- PFP

PO Box 269

Fayetteville, AR 72702-0269 US

The Pennies for Partnerships – People Feeding People outreach is made possible by your compassionate gifts.

We are 100% volunteer 

With great appreciation and gratitude to all who have given over the years and continue to support the project, Thank you!

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey (Director PFP)

Rice Distribution Continues

Hello, Namaste, and Tashi Delek

As 2013 kicks off I would like to thank everyone for a wonderful 2012. The past year Pennies for Partnerships’ People Feeding People outreach delivered 10 months of rice ending the year with a distribution in December on Christmas Eve.

It brings me such joy to see these folks sitting in the doorway of their new homes. I would like to thank all who have made it possible to conduct the pilot program. We have 2 more deliveries to complete the full year pilot program since we started in March 2012 with the 15 Indian families and 5 Tibetan recipients.


We have been notified that as of November 13 of the 15 families were moved into their new homes. We have yet to evaluate the 1 year pilot program to determine the outcome of how the monthly rice benefited the families. 

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I hope to return to India to conduct the outcome evaluation but at this time I do not have the necessary funding available to cover the expense. It is believed that the rice program provided the opportunity for the families to save in order to make the down payment necessary for housing; but without the evaluation we can not make the definitive statement. If I am able to obtain the data for the outcome evaluation it is likely the information would help us to acquire grants to expand the project.


In review below is the original data collected on the 15 families in the Indian community who were less than 2 months ago living under plastic tarps draped over bamboo and were without electricity or running water. I would so love to visit their new dwellings; I can only imagine the difference in their quality of life from when we first met. (photo of community before pilot program began)


Below is the review of the families taken less than 1 year ago.

Demographics (unfortunately this program will not allow the wonderful graphs I have to present the data).


Adult Male= 20   Adult Female= 19   Male Children (under 18) = 13  Female Children (under 18)= 19   Total population 71

There are a total of 32 children under the age of 18. Out of the 32 Children 21 are either attending pre-school or regular school. Others who are not attending are either too young or have been held out of school by the parents to help with supporting the family. This is an area I would like to investigate further to determine if there is a possibility of getting all children into school.

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Age (years)

Birth -5 = 14,    6-10 years = 10,    11-15 years = 5,   16- 20 years = 8,  21-25 years = 8,   26-30 years = 10,  31-35 years = 4,

36-40 years = 1,  41-45 years = 4,   46- 50 years = 0,  51-55 years = 2,  56-60 years = 2,  61-65 years = 1,   66-70 years = 2

The Average Age of the community is 21.9

Type of Work and monthly average income:

Calendar Sales = 10 people                                                Average monthly Income Rs 1015/ $ 20.00

Plastic Collectors for recycling= 5 people                               Average Monthly Income Rs 690/  $ 13.80

Harmonium Player = 2 people                                               Average Monthly Income Rs 1750/ $  35.00

Blessing Giver = 1 person                                                 Average Monthly Income Rs 1000/ $ 20.00

*Ration Worker= 1 person                                                  Average Monthly Income Rs 2000/  $ 40.00

*Waste Management Worker = 1 person                                       Average Monthly Income Rs 2000/  $ 40.00

Balloon Salesman= 1 person                                                 Average Monthly Income Rs 1500/ $ 30.00

*Laborer = 1 person                                                        Average Monthly Income Rs 2800/ $ 56.00

Fortune Teller= 1 person                                                   Average Monthly Income Rs 1000/ $ 20.00

*denotes contract work and is irregular


When asked if they experience hunger due to no ability to acquire food 14 of 15 families indicated YES there is hunger and days without anything to eat.

Most Difficult Situation:

When asked what the most difficult situation they face other than the lack of food the responses were:

Not proper House:  10

Medical Complications: 6

Money Problems: 2

No Clothes for the Children: 1

Husband is away most time for work: 1

This assessment was taken March 14, 2012 and I anticipate the opportunity to reassess, dependent on funding. One area we will for certain see a change in will be the elimination of the most common difficulty they face which was housing, at least for 13 of the 15 families. I have no news at this time of the other 2 families.

Review of benefit to the Tibetan Organic Farmers:

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We have purchased to date since the start 2011 approximately 11 tons of rice with a direct economic benefit to the Tibetan Organic Farmers of approximately $3500 above what they would have received from the selling to the Distributors.

In 2012 we purchased 205 bags of 25 kg (55 lbs) each of Tibetan Organic Rice in 10 months.

Direct benefit to Tibetan Organic Farmers.

–          Distributors pay rs275 (rs11 per kg) per 25 kg bag

–          PfP pays fair market value direct to Tibetan Organic Farmers rs700 (rs28 per kg) per 25 kg bag  additional rs 425 profit per bag to

the farmers

–          205 bags @ rs425 = approximately $1700 above what they would have received selling to the distributor.

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This past year was a great year for Pennies for Partnerships thanks to all who made it possible. The philosophy of this past year was to take a small community with a manageable number of families, turn the program over to the Tibetan Organic Farmers to oversee all the program management on location and see if we could make a difference in peoples lives.


I would like to thank each and every one of you and encourage you all to keep up the good work. It takes change makers like you to help those who are less privileged. It is with compassion, understanding and outreach that we can all be the change we wish to see for the future.

If you or anyone you know is interested in supporting the continued development of the program please share the link.

Donations can be made via paypal on the left sidebar or through the official Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas website:

or payments can be mailed direct to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas

c/o Pennies for Partnerships

PO Box 269

Fayetteville, AR 72702

Thank you again!

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey (MSW)

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PFP Holiday Gift Giving

Happy Holidays to you all.

This Holiday Season give to others through Compassionate Outreach to address hunger and poverty in India.

Give a gift of Tibetan Organic Rice this Holiday Season

By giving in this way to your loved ones you will offer economic support to Tibetan Organic Farmers in India while gifting to those who experience food insecurity days without hunger.

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A 25 kg (55 pound) bag of Tibetan Organic rice will feed a family of 5 for 2 weeks for only $15.00 ($ .50 a day). When you donate this holiday season we will provide you with a gift card to pass to your loved one.

To Donate/Purchase Gift Cards please go to the paypal link on the side bar or mail a check to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas, Inc.

Pennies for Partnerships

PO Box 269

Fayetteville, AR 72702-0269 USA

Thank you for your generosity and compassionate giving of an Alternative Gift this Holiday Season.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey (MSW)

Director Pennies for Partnerships – People Feeding People

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas 

November PFP Distribution Finds Surprise News

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you near and far.

Today I write with true gratitude and thanks for the opportunity to serve others. This past year in India provided me the opportunity to engage with different people of different cultures. I want to acknowledge all who have made it possible for PFP to make a difference in the lives of others. Much gratitude goes to the Compassionate Givers of Pennies for Partnerships and the Tibetan Organic Farmers of Mundgod.

On November 19th the Tibetan Organic Farmers distributed the rice to the 20 families in Mundgod. Much to my surprise they found most of the families in their new housing complex.

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The quality of life for these families has substantially gone up over this past year with moving into permanent structures, with water and with the subsidized organic rice donated by PFP.

I was moved to tears today while looking at the photos of their new homes. I am anxious to return to India someday to conduct an evaluation/impact report on the benefits of the Pennies for Partnerships community outreach. Additionally, there are a number of other families we would like to reach who currently live under plastic with no electricity, water and experience food insecurity. We would like to believe the savings generated by the rice outreach has helped the families to curb hunger while at the same time offering financial benefits through saving the necessary funds to get into permanent structures; we seek to determine the outcomes though an evaluation process and expansion of the program.

Once again I give immense Gratitude to all the Pennies for Partnerships Compassionate Gift Givers for making this past year, a time of addressing hunger in the lives of those who experience food insecurity, and for supporting the ethical farming practices of the Tibetan Organic Farmers.

This next month brings lots of excitement to the Tibetan community of Mundgod as His Holiness the Dalai Lama is scheduled to give teachings in December. We are continuing the project in Mundgod with the Tibetan Organic Farmers and hope you will join us this holiday season by giving to those who face extreme poverty and hunger.

A 25kg (55 pound) bag of Tibetan Organic Rice costs $15.00 and will help to feed a family of 5 for approximately  2 weeks. If you or anyone you know is interested in helping to address hunger and poverty, while at the same time supporting Tibetan refugees and environmentally conscious farming practices, PLEASE donate organic rice.

100% of your donation goes directly for the purchase of rice.

Pennies for Partnerships – People Feeding People is a 100% volunteer outreach of the Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas, a 501C3 nonprofit.

You can contribute to PFP by making donations through paypal (please make sure to note donation for PFP)

or you can mail a check to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas, Inc. (PFP)
PO Box 269
Fayetteville, AR 72702-0269 USA

Please feel free to contact me by posting a comment to the blog or send an email to

Also, a way to give is to share our information with others. You can share this blog with your social networks.

Again, I thank you ALL for allowing me to be your messenger of giving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Leann Halsey

Director- Pennies for Partnerships- People Feeding People

Tibetan Cultural  Institute of Arkansas

Featured Family – People Feeding People

Hello, Namaste and Tashi Delek.

Hello from India!

People Feeding People/Pennies for Partnerships prepares for the September delivery. My time in India is coming to an end for the 22 month journey abroad; although, I anticipate a return visit in the future to continue the growth of the PFP project. We are however in need of fund raising and expertise in greenhouse cultivation to expand the pilot program developed this past year. As always, sustainability of a program is essential for long-term success. Therefore, my efforts in the coming months will be to resource partnerships, fund raising events, and annual support programs.

In July and August the Tibetan Organic Farmers continued to deliver the rice donated by Pennies for Partnerships/ People Feeding People to the sponsored community in Mundgod.

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Thanks to all who made it possible to reach the twenty families with the 25 kg bags of rice, providing 2 weeks of a staple food item to families who experience hunger, are at risk of mal-nutrition, and live below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day.

Featured Family

To better understand the recipient families this month we will start by featuring monthly blogs of family assessments, in hopes to obtain annual sponsorship for the family in need.

Family 1:

The family consists of husband age 45 (not in photo), married with 4 children. The children are three females age 22 (not in photo), 12 (stopped school at 2nd class), and 10 (attending class 3). There is one boy age 17 with 7th grade education. We were told the 12 year old girl is no longer in school because her duties are to look after the home and prepare food, since her father is away for work and the mother is away during the day collecting plastic for recycling; therefore, there is no one to look after the simple hut which is not able to be locked.

Family work mo  mo food expense
Male m=45 1 calendar sales Rs. 600.00
Wife n/a 1
Child f=22 1
Child m-17   (stopped 7th class) 1 plastic recycling Rs. 600.00
Child f=12     (stopped 2nd class) 1
Child f=10     (in 3rd class) 1
Rs 1400.00 Rs.1600.00

The family has an Indian Ration Card which provides a small amount of discounted food although it is only about a 2 week supply; therefore, leaving the family with food insecurity and feelings of hunger. When asked what their monthly food budget is the family answered they plan and try to prepare 2 meals a day. The weekly food expense is rs400 ($ 8.00). This totals rs 1600 a month, exceeding the monthly total income of the family which at best is rs 1400 ($28.00). During an evening visit with the community I observed the young 12 year old girl enthusiastically prepare dinner, which consisted of four very small minnow like fish.  Each bowl served consisted of a small amount of broth with two very small pieces of fish accompanied with two roti, made from the rice provided by PFP. The young girl told me that once a week she prepares a very special meal which is either the small fish or chicken feet and heads.The husband/head of household works selling calendars which consists of selling posters purchased for 6 rupees each and sold for 10 rupees each. This type of work is common among the community and brings many days of travel to surrounding villages for festivals. The father is away from the home most of the time and brings in approximately rs600 – 700 ($12 – $14) monthly.  Other members of the family work collecting plastic for recycling. Recycling plastic consists of very long arduous days walking and carrying large bags of plastic and brings in approximately rs 600- 700 ($12-$14) monthly. The family’s total monthly income is approximately Rs 1400 ($ 28.00).

PFP aspires to assist the families with the opportunity to lift their nutritional intake by offering subsistence of a staple food item, opening purchasing power for other food items such as vegetables, protein pulses and meat. Additionally, PFP chooses to support the Tibetan Organic Farmers in an effort to sustain the organic farming ethics and offer economic benefit to the farmers in need.

At this time PFP would like to thank you all for your compassionate giving and continued support. Your generosity continues to support Tibetan Organic Farming Methods with economic development along with supporting families in need who experience hunger due to food insecurity.

To help continue the support for the families and farmers we are starting an annual family sponsorship program. If you or anyone you know might be interested in sponsoring a family for as little as $15.00 a month, only $ .50 a day please email me at or post a comment here on the blog. You can also make a one time paypal donation for an annual family sponsorship for $180.00.

Also please help share the information to build the program by helping our grassroots project get exposure; share on your facebook page our link.  A little goes a long way and sharing is caring. Please consider sharing these links:

We are always open to creative input and energy and are looking for volunteers.

People Feeding People – Pennies for Partnerships is a volunteer based outreach under the Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas (TCIA) a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. If you wish to make a contribution- a bag of rice is $15.00 for 25 kg (55 pounds) and will provide a family of five at least 2 weeks of a staple food item and ensures continuous meals throughout the month.

Contributions to PFP can be made through PayPal – see the donate button in the left sidebar or visit the official website of TCIA

If you wish to mail a check please send to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas

c/o Pennies for Partnerships

PO Box 269
Fayetteville, AR 72702-0269 USA

Thank you again for your compassionate giving.

Kind Regards,

Leann Halsey (MSW)

Director People Feeding People/ Pennies for Partnerships

People Feeding People (PFP) – India’s Inflation and Food Insecurity

Hello, Namaste and Tashi delek from India.

A month of posting was missed due to technical difficulties so I apologize for the delay.

On June 26th the monthly distribution was made to the 20 families sponsored by PFP.  I would like to thank all the PFP members who continue to make compassionate contributions for those in need; as well, I would like to thank the Tibetan Organic Farmers for their work in distributing the rice each month.

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As we prepare for the July delivery I would like to provide you with recent data regarding food insecurity, mal-nutrition and issues of inflation of food costs in India over the last decade.

Poverty and Food Insecurity in India:

According to the World Bank, India is the second most populous country in the world with approximately 1.22 billion people.

In 2010, the World Bank estimated India’s population to have 32.7% below the International Poverty Line of $ 1.25 per day purchasing power parity (PPP) and 68.7% live on less than $2.00 per day.  India’s poverty line however is much less than the International Poverty Line and was recently lowered to Rs 28 (rupees) per day; depending on the currency rate exchange Rs 28 is approximately $ .56 per day.

Additionally, the 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) provided by the International Food and Policy Research Institute identifies India to have SERIOUS levels of hunger; classified as ALARMING. The highest GHI is found in South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. A concern at this time is how the rising costs of food will impact the poor in India because the data provided in the 2011 Hunger Index does not include data beyond 2005. This is a concern as the inflation of food costs in India more than tripled since 2004.

May 28, 2012 the Times of India published a graph comparing India’s rising food costs.

Items May ’04-’09 May ’09- April ’12
Food Articles 44 45.6
Cereals 59 18.4
Pulses 66.8 27.4
Vegetables 52.9 68.3
Fruits 31.9 31.9
Milk 34.7 51.3
Egg, Meat, Fish 25.1 80.7
IMFL: Blend 16.8 80.7

Cereals, pulses, milk, fruit, eggs, and meat doubled in price. Dairy, salt, and sugar increased by 75%. Most alarming is the rising cost of nutritional vegetables which are 3 times more expensive and have tripled in cost. The greatest inflation is seen in the last three years from May 2009-April 2012 more so than in the five year period of 2004-2009.

As mentioned above, this is relative in that with the rising food costs the hunger index is yet to report any factors related to inflation at this time since the data was collected prior to 2005.

India is reported to have very high levels of mal-nutrition. A recent article in the Times of India reported percentages of underweight, undernourished, and hunger deaths under 5 years of age. The work of PFP is reaching some of those who are noted in the report. Karnataka State is listed as the second state to have the highest percentage of undernourished, listed at 28.1 % of the states’ population. Karnataka is also listed as the fifth highest in underweight at 37.6% and the fifth highest state for deaths associated with child hunger; 5.5% of children under the age of five die from hunger.

In an effort to ensure we are reaching those who are within the category of the GHI, we assessed PFP recipient families to establish if they fall under this category of ALARMING and below the International Poverty Line.

Community Assessment Results:

Sample Population: Recipient Families: n=15 a mean (average) 5.13 persons to each household; there are 77 individuals in the Bus Stand Community. An additional 5 families have yet to be assessed.  The median monthly income of the community is Rs 1500 (approx. $30.00) which is approximately $1.00 a day; therefore, the community certainly falls below the International Poverty Line of $1.25 per day (PPP) and is recognized as those who are most likely to have food insecurity and are at health risk of underweight, undernourished, and at risk of child hunger deaths.

In the assessment of the families we discovered that for most families 100% of their monthly income goes for food and at least half of the families ration the food supplies they have, often experiencing occasional days with little to no food.

The questionnaire asked the families what is the most difficult situation your family faces and the top three responses were 1) Not enough money to feed the children regular healthy meals 2) poor housing conditions with no water and no electricity 3) and health complications.

In January 2012, PFP started consistent deliveries of 25 kg (55 pound) bags of rice to 20 families reaching 102 individuals monthly. The 25 kg bag of rice costs Rs 700 (approx $15.00) which is a 2 week supply of a staple food item. The cost of the 25 kg bag of rice is more than half of the monthly income for most the families. The families qualify for the Indian Ration Card which provides discounted food prices but they are only allotted monthly a 2 week supply of food at distributor prices.

People Feeding People assists families with the staple food item (rice) allowing them the opportunity to purchase more nutritional foods like pulses, vegetables and proteins such as meat and dairy. Additionally, the rice they are provided is Tibetan Organic Rice which is a higher quality of rice with more nutritional value than the basic rice they are able to purchase on the Indian Ration Card. Our goal is to provide ongoing assistance to the families in an effort to address hunger and health complications by offering the families the opportunity to increase their purchasing power for nutritional foods. Additionally, we aim to develop Phase II of the program which will implement a self reliance model teaching the community how to grow their own vegetables in sack gardens; a model which has proven to be results oriented in Africa.

PFP would like to continue the commitment to the families in the bus stand community as well as the five families chosen by the Tibetan community. At this time we have kept the commitment minimal to only 20 families as we work towards a sustainable project with proper funding to continue the future development of the program. As with all social work projects we aim for a sustainable project which will be completely self reliant run by the Tibetan Organic Farmers in the future; although, in the development of the full mission to establish self reliance much outside assistance is needed.

PFP is looking for monthly sponsors for families. For only $15.00 a month or $180.00 a year you too can make a difference in the lives of others who suffer from the difficulties of extreme poverty, hunger and lack of resources. If you are interested in sponsoring a family, please send an email to  or send a comment to this blog and I will contact you in a private message. I have compiled family profiles and each month we will feature a family until all the families have been sponsored. Thank you for your consideration for family sponsorship of only $.50 a day/ $15.00 a month.

In addition to providing for those who have food insecurity and hunger the PFP Outreach assists Tibetan Organic Farmers with an economic development opportunity to offset losses they experience due to the slow growth of the organic market in India. I have no data on the Tibetan Organic Farming community with regards to their annual income but have been told of the concerns from the Tibetan agricultural officers of how climate change and slow development of the organic market continues to create economic hardships for the organic farmers.

At this time we are perceived as a consumer, purchasing Tibetan rice from the Organic Retail shop in Mundgod.  Currently in India the distributors pay Rs 11 ($ .22) per kg. PFP purchases Tibetan Organic rice directly from the Tibetan Organic Farmers at a fairer market value of Rs 28 ($ .56), offering an increased economic benefit to the farmers.

In the past months I have had many discussions with the Tibetan agriculture officers about sponsored greenhouses for the Tibetan Organic Farmers to provide a secure secondary source of income which would not be at risk of climate change and would truly fit the model of an economic development plan for the Tibetan Organic Farmers. Unfortunately, the development of Phase II- Sponsored Greenhouses has been very slow. I lack the expertise in greenhouse construction and cultivation. We are in need of a cost estimate for construction of the greenhouses in the Mundgod, Karnataka climate for year round growing as well we are in need of a greenhouse cultivation plan. This information is critical to the development of Phase II for funding purposes and for outcome analysis. At this time the Tibetan Agricultural Officers have not supplied me with the details due to their heavy work schedules. I am requesting any assistance offered from those who may have knowledge in this area. I will provide you research materials I have located online which offer an example of the documents needed to provide funders for the sponsored greenhouses. We currently have a funder interested in supporting the first pilot program but the details are necessary for implementation. If you or someone you know is interested and has knowledge of organic greenhouse gardening please contact me at

My time in India is soon coming to a close therefore, timing is critical if we plan to implement Phase II and further the ongoing support to the Tibetan Organic Farmers.

Thank you all for your continued support to People Feeding People and Pennies for Partnerships. Your compassion and generosity is appreciated and please keep in mind sharing is caring. We ask for your assistance in spreading the blog post to your social networks on FB, Twitter and any additional ways you can help spread the word throughout the International Community.

We are open to any and all suggestions as well as any energy you have to give in the development of the grassroots project People Feeding People. If you are interested and have ideas it does not take only monetary giving to make a difference in others lives. Your creative ideas and energy are always welcome.

To date your compassion giving has resulted in the purchase and distribution of 320 bags of rice = 8000 kg or 17,600 pounds which is 8+ tons of rice. There are more families in the area we would like to reach beyond the 20 families we are currently serving. With your assistance we can expand our program to reach more people in need.

In keeping with the PFP model please remember a little giving goes a long way. To donate please see the PayPal button on the left or visit our official 501c3 nonprofit organization TCIA at:

If you prefer to donate by check please denote donation is for PFP and mail to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas, Inc. – PFP
PO Box 269
Fayetteville, AR 72702-0269 USA

Thank you sincerely for the opportunity to be your messenger of giving.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey (MSW)

Director of PFP

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas (TCIA)

Tibetan Organic Farmers and You- People Feeding People

Tashi Delek and Namste from India.

Pennies for Partnerships continues with success as Tibetan Organic Farmers see that the program  management is in place.

On May 26th PfP Program manager in Mundgod, Sonam la, once again sees to it that the families we have made a commitment to are served. The PfP team in Mundgod distributed 20 bags of Tibetan Organic Rice weighing 25 kg each (55 pounds) to those who have been identified as recipients of your gifts due to their suffering from hunger and poverty.

Here are a few photos of the delivery made by the Tibetan Organic Farmers PfP Team.

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At this time I would like to thank all of you who make this possible. The needs of the families are perpetuated by rising food costs and extreme poverty. I am currently working to sustain this program to assist these families who suffer from food insecurity and mal-nutrition by asking for family pledges to sponsor a family for one year with food subsistence. The program will provide a staple item for 2 weeks in which the family is provided an additional 2 weeks supply through the Indian government Ration Card. With your commitment the families are ensured the opportunity to eat each day and use any savings from the gift to purchase more nutritional food. The 25 kg bag of rice is equivalent to some families entire monthly income.

If you are interested in sponsoring a family I will send you photos and a family assessment identifying the family income, number of children and other aspects of the family. On average these families live on $1.00 to $2.00 a day.

For as little as $ .50 a day, $15.00 a month you too can help a family in need and see to it that the children do not have hunger in their days.  Annual commitment is $ 180 A YEAR  and you can determine if you wish to make the full commitment in one donation or monthly.

Please send a comment on this blog, or email if you are interested in this opportunity to give.

or you can directly make a donation through paypal or by check.

For paypal options please see the side bar.

Also if you wish to make a donation payable by check you can mail it to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas, Inc.

Attn: Pennies for Partnerships

PO Box 269
Fayetteville, AR 72702-0269 USA

You will be provided a receipt for your generous donation from TCIA 501c3 Nonprofit organization for tax purposes.

June 4th is the most auspicious day of the year for giving in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition. It is Saka Dawa and Buddhists believe that the karmic merits of giving on this day a multiplied by 100,000 times.

June’s blog will feature a family bio identifying those most in need.

Thank you for your generosity, compassion and loving kindness which makes it possible for PfP to continue to serve those in need in the Tibetan Organic Farming Community and their surrounding neighbors.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

Director- PfP (TCIA Initiatives)

WINNERS PfP- Bangles for Bucks Online Raffle

Hello, Namaste, and Tashi Delek!

I am happy to post the results of the Pennies for Partnerships’ Bangles for Bucks online raffle.

It was great fun to take the gift from our donor, Franz from Austria, and make the online raffle a way to generate funds to purchase Tibetan Organic Rice for the PfP sponsored families who experience food insecurity due to destitute poverty.

The raffle was a huge success and together we turned the gift from Franz into a wonderful future opportunity to address poverty among Tibetan Organic Farmers and to offer subsistence for those who experience hunger.  Together we turned what was originally about $200 worth of jewelry into a great deal more. Not only does the jewelry provide for the purchase of rice from Tibetan Organic Farmers but offers additional commitment to those we serve. The remaining  jewelry donated by Franz was contributed to one family in lowest economic status of the Indian community we serve; a single Mother with two beautiful children. I look forward to being able to report to you how she may have turned the jewelry into an economic opportunity for her family.
Over $600 was brought in for the Bangles for Bucks online raffle which is not including the sponsor match. ALL raffle participants will be receiving a little something as our way of saying thank you for your generosity and compassion in the giving of what we have for others and also for taking Pennies for Partnerships into the future.
“It’s the little things we can do to try to make a difference in the lives of others that makes it so meaningful.”
Franz we appreciate you, as well we truly appreciate ALL the donors who played in the Bangles for Bucks online raffle.
Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the International participation; we had participating members from USA, Singapore, and Austria; great PfP (People feeding People)! We ARE a global family.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated and the WINNERS are:
Diana Suber
Audry Herbert
Choon Hiang Chung
Liz Shearer
Sharon Halsey-Hoover
Deb Halsey
Becky McCoy
Bill Symes
BUT you are ALL WINNERS and every size gift if extremely important and appreciated that is why the listed contributors above will receive the gifts donated by Franz but all who participated will receive something.  Tashi Delek and Congratulations!

Thank you all again to all for your continued generosity and compassion in supporting the PfPBangles for Bucks online Raffle.

Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to pledge to sponsor a family for a full year. I will send photos and bios of each family and you can choose the family you wish to sponsor. At this time we have 7 pledges and are looking to sponsor 20 families at this time. By getting pledges for sponsor of the existing 20 families we then can start distribution to an additional 20 families.

Slowly slowly together we can create change! 

Keep in touch and please remember sharing is caring. Feel free to share our blog with your friends and families as this is our only way to get the word out through social networks.

and visit our official nonprofit Organization Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas at:

Also donations are accepted online through paypal (see left side bar) or checks can be mailed to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas, Inc.

Pennies for Partnerships

PO Box 269

Fayetteville, AR 72702-0269 US

Additionally please feel free to contact me directly with your interests or ideas.

or you can comment on the blog and I will reply.

Take care and again Much appreciation to you ALL.


Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

Director- Pennies for Partnerships (TCIA initiative)

PfP Plan Keeps Compassion in Action

Hello, Namaste and Tashi delek from India.

I am happy to announce that theTibetan Organic Farmers have successfully kept the compassionate action going.

On April 26th another 20 bags of Tibetan Organic Rice weighing 25 kg (55 pounds) each were distributed to the recipient families for the Pennies for Partnerships’ Compassion in Action Outreach. The recent developments and progress in the Mundgod Tattahali Tibetan Settlement have brought about the grand opening of the Tibetan Organic Farmer’s Outlet where they diligently packaged the 20 bags of rice and prepared for the distribution, this time fully self-reliant in administering the program.

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Watch Slide Show of the April 2012 Distribution

I feel completely confident about the future opportunity to grow this program with the Tibetan Organic Farmers seeing the diligence and professional efficiency implemented. I would like to thank the Tibetan Agricultural Officers of Mundgod along with the Organic Farmers, especially Sonam, one farmer from camp 3 who has been a part of the past deliveries and acted as project manager and has overseen all aspects in my absence. We look forward to working with Sonam and the Tibetan Organic Farmers in the future as we continue to distribute your gifts of generosity.

The gifts of generosity, 25 kg bags (55 pounds) of rice for $15.00 each are distributed to those who experience destitute poverty and food insecurity, not only address hunger and poverty but also support the continued commitment to protect our earth through organic farming ethics. The rice is purchased directly from the Tibetan Organic Farmers offering them a more fair trade value which assists to offset the loss they take from smaller annual yields and low market rates. Additionally, the gift you give assists in addressing poverty among the Tibetan Organic Farmers. We offer a purchase price direct to the farmers of 28 rupees ($ .56) per kg as opposed to the distributors’ price which varies but has been on average 11 rupees ($ .22) per kg same as conventional rice grown with toxic chemicals. With this we offer a direct benefit to the farmers to assist in economic development as the organic market continues to develop in India.

At this time if you are interested in making a gift/contribution to the Pennies for Partnerships for every $1.00 you donate you will get a raffle ticket with your name on it in the box to win Indian bangles/braclets. See the previous blog post Bangles for Bucks for more details.  The Bangles for Bucks blog will run until May 1st at which point all proceeds that have been generated by the Bangles for Bucks online raffle will be matched by our Golden Partner of Generosity who donated the items. 100% of ALL contributions go to purchase Tibetan Organic rice for those in need.

Also at this time anyone who would like to sponsor a family for 1 year or any length of time can send me a private email making a pledge. I will then send you profiles which include family photos, demographic data such as ages, income and type of work, at which point you can choose the family you wish to sponsor. email direct if you are interested in sponsoring a family for $15.00 a month or more. or feel free to send a comment direct on this blog.

Please remember Pennies for Partnerships originated with the concept idea that if you give a little it will go a long way; therefore NO DONATION is too small and all contributions are welcomed including the sharing of the link to this blog, our website, and facebook. We have accomplished today all that we have through social networking so please keep in mind “sharing is caring” and “One man’s junk is a another man’s treasure” as we have utilized recycling aluminum and various items to generate funds to purchase rice.

Please consider donating today as little or as much as you like towards the purchase of organic rice for those who have hunger. Your gifts will be acknowledged with a receipt from our nonprofit organization The Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas offering you a tax deduction. Your donation can be made via paypal (see donate button on left side bar or on our official website)

or by check made payable to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas, Inc.

Pennies for Partnerships

PO Box 269

Fayetteville, AR 72702-0269 USA

Also feel free to contact me directly with any feedback. We are also looking for volunteers who are willing to generate fund raising opportunities with church groups, school groups, and any creative ideas you may have to offer. or comment directly to this blog and I will contact you.

Stay tuned for more details to come about the future development of sponsored greenhouses and permaculture education which will offer a secondary source of income for the Tibetan Organic Farmers and a way for those with food insecurity to lift their nutritional levels. Thank you again for allowing me to be the messenger of your compassionate giving.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

Director- Pennies for Partnerships (TCIA initiative)

Tibetan Organic Farmers Take to Compassionate Action

Hello, Tashi Delek and Namaste from India.

Today was an incredibly awesome day!

Morning Activities:

It started off at 6:00 am with a sunrise rickshaw ride to the Indian community to conduct profiles of the recipient families. We interviewed 15 families who have now received 3 deliveries of rice. The assessment consisted of profiles of each family to include name and age of all family members residing in the home. Additional data includes, type of work, monthly income, any government assistance and whether or not the children are attending school. More information regarding the assessment will be provided in future posts but it was very interesting to start the day with this community and see their daily activities such as the long distance they walk to retrieve water, the refilling of the kerosene lantern since they have no electricity,  breakfast being prepared on open fires, and best of all, the excitement of the children as they head off to school. I will say however the information obtained on this community notes destitute poverty with incomes ranging from $18 a month to $40 a month which is noted in the hunger index as those who suffer from serve hunger and malnutrition as they live on less than $1.00 a day to $1.50 a day.

Afternoon Action

Tibetan Organic Farmers step up compassionate action with Pennies for Partnerships.

The Tibetan Organic Farmers have been working on the construction of an organic outlet shop in Tattahali Settlement Camp, (Mundgod) scheduled to open to the public March 25th. The outlet will offer the farmers additional exposure and opportunities to sell directly to the local community which will also help increase the direct benefit to the farmers and address poverty among the Tibetan Organic Farmers.

March 14, 2012 Pennies for Partnerships was the first to make a direct purchase from the new outlet shop. The Tibetan agricultural officers invited me to an Organic Farmers committee meeting where I had the opportunity to present to 8 committee members, 3 Agricultural Officers and the settlement officer head Secretary, the Pennies for Partnerships Compassionate Outreach project to address poverty in the Tibetan Organic Farming community while at the same time addressing hunger in the surrounding India communities. The feedback was very positive from the farmers and it appears we have huge support from the leaders of each camp.

Following the meeting the committee members reconvened at the new construction site of the Organic Outlet. Additionally they all showed their support and participation while preparing the next distribution.

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After bagging rice, our past team members and I distributed 20 bags of rice to the families in the Indian and Tibetan communities which we have identified living with destitute poverty and food insecurity. Now having worked with us through several deliveries the team is prepared to carry on the distributions as planned for the months to come. As a social work project we seek to reach self-reliance within the operations of the project as well as move forward with new developments. I feel confident in the team in that when I am not here they will successfully carry on the project with efficiency and compassionate action given to those who have been chosen as recipients of  the rice.

Additionally, we seek to maintain consistency with the program and are looking for contributors who will commit to sponsoring a family for one year for as little as $15.00 a month. More details to come on how to become a Golden Partner of Compassion. I will be compiling profiles of the families  and sending information to those interested. You will be provided details such as number of members in the family, age, income, and type of work they conduct along with photos.

So if you or anyone you know might be interested in helping address food insecurity, hunger, poverty and environmental commitment to organic farming please email me at

Also, please remember “sharing is caring” and we appreciate your assistance in helping spread the word. All measures for marketing the outreach project is through social networking and the help of you spreading the word.

Those interested can donate directly online through payal and receive a tax deduction. Also, we are currently conducting an online raffle which details are provided in the previous post “Bangles for Bucks”.

Thanks you to all who make this possible as I am only the messenger of your compassionate action and generosity.

More details on our nonprofit status can be found at our official website of Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas (TCIA).

and any donations made through the TCIA website please designate Pennies for Partnerships which is also listed under the activities link.

Thank you from the Tibetan Organic Farmers, the Indian community and TCIA for your continued support.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

Project Director – Pennies for Partnerships

Bangles/Bracelets for Bucks $1.00 Online Raffle Tickets

Hello, Namaste and Tashi Delek from India.

Many of you are aware of the Tibetan Plight and the current situation inside Tibet as well as the History of Tibetans fleeing  into exile.

March 10th marked the 53rd year of the Tibetan Uprising and the continued situation of Human Rights violations inside Tibet which has forced many Tibetans to make the difficult decision to escape the violent oppressive conditions in hopes of someday returning to Tibet with  basic human rights to include freedom of expression, freedom of religion…..

At this time the Pennies for Partnerships would like to also recognize the needs of those living in Exile in India and the difficulties faced as a displaced population. The Pennies for Partnerships outreach to support the Tibetan Organic Farmers is one way in which we can support those working diligently to create a better environment through their commitment to Environmental consciousness of organic farming practices. Pennies for Partnerships was alerted one year ago to the growing concern of increased poverty within the Tibetan Organic Farming Community due to the slow growth of the organic market in India. In order to show support to the farmers’ commitment to create a healthy environment and remain organic we stand with them during the slow growth period by purchasing rice directly from the organic farmers at a fair market value. Additionally, this is one way of showing support to the Tibetan people as they continue their Human Rights campaign while facing different complications while displaced from their Tibetan homeland.

So today on March 12th Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day we initiate a fund raiser called “BANGLES/BRACELETS FOR BUCKS”.

“Bangles/Bracelets For Bucks” is an online raffle.

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We hope to generate additional financial support to assist the Tibetan Organic Farmers through the opportunity for you to get a little something in return. Thanks to our International friend Franz, from Austria, who recently visited the Tibetan community in Mundgod with me, we now have the option to offer you a little gift from India in return for your support to the Pennies for Partnerships Outreach. This is a true outreach program which is a gift that keeps on giving. There are 15 bangles/bracelets available for the raffle (only a few photos available at this time due to slow internet).

Franz, a true philanthropist, helped an Indian merchant who was struggling to keep his business by purchasing a large amount of jewelry which he has now donated to our project. Additionally, he has offered to support the online raffle by Matching BUCK FOR BUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have 15 bangles/bracelets to raffle.  We have pulled out all the bangles/bracelets for this raffle and the rest of the fashion jewelry will be given to the Indian community in an effort to help them to develop a small business opportunity.

So how about that?  Pennies for Partnerships continues the mission to take something like pennies, aluminum, clothing or anything that one chooses to give and we take the gifts with pleasure in hopes of turning it into something for those in need.

$1.00 Raffle Tickets are now available for a short time so please don’t wait. Buy as many $1.00 raffle tickets as you wish and increase your opportunity to receive an Indian Bangle/Bracelet.  All raffle tickets can be purchased either online through the paypal DONATE button on the left sidebar or you can can contact me directly at if you wish to send check or make direct deposit.

With the funds generated through the ONLINE RAFFLE –  “BANGLES/BRACELETS FOR BUCKS” we will continue our  efforts to support Tibetan Organic practices through the procurement of organic rice which is then distributed in 25 kg (55 pounds) bags  to some of the poorest Indian neighboring communities facing hunger in Mundgod, India. The Tibetan settlement camp close to Mundgod is called Tattihali and was the second refugee camp to be established in India (1962). Tattahali is home to approximately 20,000 Tibetans and is the largest community committed to organic farming. Additionally there are approximately 1000 organic farmers.

Thank you for your interest in supporting the Pennies for Partnerships Outreach Online Raffle. We would like to ask for your consideration to the cost of shipping which will be approximately $2.00 for United States donors and approximately $4.00 to other countries. As well the items offered in the raffle range from retail price of  $2.00 to $50.00. The Bangles and Bracelets are brass, metal, silver and some with porcelain details. Nice fashion jewelry and gifts for those sweet ladies in your life.

Thank you again and please spread the word.

Remember “Sharing is Caring” and we ask that you pass on the link to our site in hopes of generating more partners in outreach to address global poverty and hunger.

Also we would like to thank all the friends from Kudle Beach who have donated clothing and other items such as mattresses, rugs, blankets, books for the children and more. These items will be delivered this week to various people in the Tibetan and Indian communities. “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!”

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

Director- Pennies for Partnerships (TCIA initiative)

Details of sponsorship for families who face food insecurity and/or Tibetan farmers Greenhouse sponsorship to come.

May no man, woman or child go hungry in a world of plenty

Rice Distribution Planning

Hello and Tashi Delek from India

I am writing today to provide the update as to the planned distributions for the coming year.

At this time the February Distribution has been delayed due to the new construction of the Tibetan Organic Outlet which will be located in Mundgod Tibetan Settlement in Camp 3. All Tibetan Organic Officers are working diligently to establish the outlet making available to the Tibetan community and surrounding Indian communities the opportunity to purchase Tibetan Organic Products. Unfortunately, due to the busy schedule and demand on the agricultural officers we are pending the date for the February distribution and look forward to reporting to you soon.

At this time we are scheduling a planned distribution for 20 bags of 25 kg of rice to be delivered monthly for the next 6 months, which will now start in March. Therefore, at this time we are able to commit to approximately 3 tons of rice to be purchased as well as consistent delivery of rice subsistence provided to the families designated as recipients. Obviously with the fluctuation of the dollar and market price of rice this is an estimation based on current donations received.

We would however,  like to generate funding for the remaining 6 months of the year in order to provide a full year of scheduled purchasing from the Tibetan Organic Farmers as well as deliveries to the communities in need. With one entire year of consistency we will be able to provide an effectiveness report with regards to economic development for the farmers and a review of how the food subsistence has assisted the families in need.

The current planning phase is made possible from the donations received over the last several months. Thanks to all of you for your generosity and compassion in considering the needs of others.

If you or anyone you know is interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the Pennies for Partnerships Outreach please see the donate button on the side bar or visit us at our official website for Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas.

Also please share and spread the message of the Pennies for Partnerships project as this is also one way of giving to others by being an advocate for those in need.

AND PLEASE always keep in mind the concept of Pennies for Partnerships –

it only takes a little to give and the generosity of pennies adds up to less hunger in one child’s day. 

A 55 pound bag of rice (25 kg) costs approximately $15.00 (one pound costs approximately $ .28) and this feeds a family of five for one month.

Thank you for your consideration in addressing the very important global issues of poverty and hunger.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

Making a Difference

Hello, Tashi Delek and Namaste from India

Today I would like to feature one man who is making a difference.

Thomas Lenzen is a medical student from Germany who I had the pleasure to meet February 2011  in India just following the period when Pennies for Partnerships started working with the Tibetan Organic Farmers.

Thomas was in India for a medical internship with St. John’s medical College in Bangalore. During his time in India he had exposure to the issues of rural Indian villages where mal- nutrition and poor heal care are a concern to those who live with the struggles of poverty. Thomas’ accomplishments are immense which also include a distinguished position as a Research Fellow in 2010 for the Mind and Life Institute, and a medical intern position in New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2011. Additionally Thomas is accomplished in his research which is noted by his three publications in neurological studies.

Thomas returned to India this past holiday season to visit friends. While here Thomas used his creative energy and network to establish a rice drive among his social network. He sent out a facebook message and asked if anyone was interested in participating in a rice drive with a goal of 1 TON of rice. In his efforts Thomas successfully garnered enough support to purchase close to 2 TONS of rice. It was my privilege to accompany Thomas on a visit to the Tibetan community. Thomas took time to visit with members of  both communities involved with our project and we look forward to a long relationship and return visit with our Golden Partner of Compassion.

Today I would like to honor Mr. Thomas Lenzen for his compassionate outreach to address issues of hunger and destitute poverty. Additionally, I would like to thank him for his time and efforts in creating a network of others who generously gave to the Pennies for Partnerships Outreach. Additionally, Pennies for Partnerships would like to thank all the parties involved with Thomas’ outreach.

To start the outreach for 2012 we delivered on what was Pennies for Partnerships’ 1 year anniversary, January 26th, a total of 25 bags at 25 kg (55lbs) each.

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(More photos to be added)

We are in the process of conducting a needs assessment with those who have now received 3 deliveries. It is necessary for purposes of best practices to establish the criteria for those in need and determine the appropriate outreach. At this time we know that in the community a family of 5 has been able to sustain on the 25kg bag of rice for 1 month. Therefore, we are developing an ongoing program to sponsor a specific number of families within the community in order to lift their nutrition and quality of living. We plan to establish a level of evaluation so that in one year we can analyze the impact. At this time the 25 recipient families will receive ongoing monthly deliveries of rice as funding permits.

It takes people like all of you who have participated to make this work.

If you are interested in making a tax deductible contribution by donation or to continue your contributions please see the PAYPAL button option on the side bar. If you would prefer to NOT do paypal a check can be mailed via POST to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas, Inc.
PO Box 269
Fayetteville, AR 72702-0269 US

Also remember participating does not mean just giving monetarily but with creative energy and effort to show loving kindness and compassion in action. This can come in many forms of giving, be it through donations, sharing the link and telling others, sharing knowledge and wisdom in areas of development and using your creative forces like Thomas to think of ways to spread the message and opportunity to give.

AND remember, the initial start of Pennies for Partnerships was all about people giving their penny jars; often “an out of site out of mind amount of money” that can really make a difference. Won’t you Please consider donating your penny jar today?

Everything Pennies for Partnerships has achieved thus far has been through the efforts of networking using technology and crossing boundaries of difference to bring together our global community.

If you or someone you know is interested in our project, please give our contact details.

As we enter phase 2 of  project development with plans to pilot a greenhouse project and sack gardening we are in need of knowledgeable support about permaculture for sack gardening, greenhouse construction, and nutritional evaluations. So if you know anyone who you feel is an expert in these areas please, please share with them our project information or connect us via email.

Thank you again to you all for your support.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

Director – Pennies for Partnerships (TCIA)

May No man, woman or child go hungry in a world of plenty!

One Year Anniversary of Pennies for Partnerships Rice Drive – Year in Review

One Year Anniversary of Pennies for Partnerships Rice Drive – Year in Review

Hello, Namaste and Tashi Delek from India.

On this day I feel blessed to reflect on the past year and the many wonderful occurrences that have brought the Pennies for Partnerships to the official nonprofit status and the developments thus far. But first a brief look at the years past.

2008- 2010

Many of you may recall the first of Pennies for Partnerships back in 2008 which started as a Penny and Aluminum Can Drive to help fund the TCIA program Tutors for Tibetans (initially called Tibetan Children’s Heritage Fund).  In addition, the fund raiser donated to the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) to provide assistance for the capacity building program know as Stitches of Tibet and a publication titled Light in the Abyss- The Drapchi Fourteen. Then in 2009 we conducted a clothing drive for Tibetan children, the Mark Your Mark campaign which funded markers for teachers at LHA Charitable Trust and an online raffle. In 2010, the focus was placed on helping raise money for a water filter in order to provide safe water for a monastery. Which brings us to 2011…..

Prior to my departure from Fayetteville, Arkansas on January 8th I had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy a night out on the town with friends (oh how I miss dancing). While hanging out at George’s Majestic Lounge listening to friends play, MOV and Crazy Neighbor, I crossed paths with a young man I had never met before who when he found out I was leaving for India in 2 days to do some social work, he handed me $3.00 and said “do something good with it”. My reply to him was “I will feed someone with you $3.00, how’s that? He was all for it. So today I sit and wonder who that messenger was that delivered the $3.00 to me which spearheaded the rice drive to feed hungry people. I wonder if he has any idea the impact his $3.00 has had on other people’s lives.

I attended the teachings of  the Dalai Lama in Saranath (the place where Buddha gave the first teachings of the Four Noble Truths)  prior to moving on to the Bodhgaya. On January 22, 2011 I posted a blog offering a glimpse into the lives of those who live in destitute poverty in Bodhgaya, (the holiest of Buddhist places) located in Bihar State one of the poorest in all of India. My guesthouse I choose was just a short walk through an area where many of the beggars lived but when they were in their homes they did not beg to those who lived among them. Everyday, and every evening I walked by them and felt such immense compassion and sadness for the suffering they must endure each day living without water or electricity in shanty little make shift shacks.

I recalled things the Dali Lama said in his teachings about compassion and decided this time Pennies for Partnerships need not be exclusive for Tibetans. In that blog on Jan 22, 2011 I asked you all if you might be interested in donating rice for those in need who experience hunger in their daily lives…..and you RESPONDED.

The donations started coming in and so on January 26, 2011 Republic Day of India we gifted 13 bags of rice. Thanks to those of you who responded to the call and to my mother who assisted in receiving the generous contributions you made, the grassroots of the Pennies for Partnerships Rice Drive began. And this was my quote on the blog that day:

May no man, woman or child be hungry in a world of plenty and may we care for our brothers and sisters of the world.”

This reflection moves me with emotion as I again remind you that truly everything is made possible by you and I am so blessed to be your messenger of compassion and loving kindness. As I look back over the blog posts from the first deliveries I am moved to tears reminded of what it felt like to do this work and see the joy in the faces of those receiving your gifts. It truly is the greatest gift of all to have experienced this and encountered the many beautiful people who often go unnoticed because they may be classified as the untouchables.

This photo speaks for it’s self of the beauty and joy, the compassion and emotions that overcome us. This is a family where both mother and father are handicapped due to polio and their beautiful young boy who I am sure is malnourished due to issues of poverty and hunger.

Our team who delivered was very diverse in religious affiliation and to this day we maintain this diversity with every distribution. We have Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus all coming together. It was just magical it happened this way and is still occurring without searching out those with difference. It symbolizes for me our global connection as humans, all of us equal in deserving happiness.

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We made two distributions of 13 bags each day. It was necessary to break this into small deliveries as the crowds of people in need would flock to us and of course we were not able to accommodate all. This was the most trying of all…to have to leave pulling away in the rickshaw looking back at those who went unnoticed and unserved.

As you continued to send money to purchase rice my time came to depart to the south of India to the Tibetan settlement camp in Mundgod where the Dali Lama was giving teachings.  It was here in the second largest Tibetan settlement in India that I discovered the Tibetan Organic Farmers. When I approached the Tibetan Organic farmers at their exhibit about purchasing rice for a distribution to the poor and destitute Indian communities surrounding the area they were very pleased and willing to work with me. As we forged the relationship I became aware of the issues of poverty within the organic farming community. I learned of the consequences of organic farming such as lower annual yields in addition to the lack of an organic market in India causing complications for farmers income levels. I learned of climate change and devastation to the crops due to limitations in farming without irrigation systems or early rainfall leaving land fallow. And so the commitment was made at this time to forge a relationship with the Tibetan Organic Farmers to purchase organic rice direct from the farmers offering them a larger return on portions of their yield in an effort to boost their income a small amount while they diligently wait for the organic market to develop in India.

Which brings us to this day; Pennies for Partnerships continues to support organic farming efforts while addressing issues of hunger and poverty in India.

Pennies for Partnerships REVIEW Since January 2011

To date 220 bags of 25 kg each (55 pounds) of rice have been delivered. This totals 5500kg or 12,100 lbs of rice (6.05 Tons).

Current Plans for Future Development

In October 2011, I discovered a community living in tents style huts on barren land with no water or electricity. There are 13 homes and Pennies for Partnerships will be sponsoring this community in an ongoing effort to provide monthly supply of rice with an effort to work more closely with the families in teaching them sack gardening in hopes to develop some self reliant ways for providing increased nutrition to their families. This is a community which has been displaced from the Bhopal Disaster caused by a pesticide leak. These families live on less than a dollar a day and collect plastic for recycling as an income. So keeping with a rounded environmental mission we are assisting a community devastated by an environmental hazard and focusing on those who conduct work which is environmentally conscious. There are however many many more families I have come across that I would like to bring into the fold of Pennies for Partnerships as we are able to increase the funding and commit to ongoing deliveries.

We have currently scheduled with the Tibetan Organic Farmers the next several months of delivery and our team is polished and ready to manage the operations of the distribution. We will also conduct an evaluation in time to measure the effectiveness of the gifts you give and the efforts we put forth to empower the people to lift into a better quality of life and at least experience less hunger in their days.

MORE to Come in the next few days with about the Golden Partners of Generosity who make it possible to touch the lives of people in need.

Thanks to the Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas who believed in the project and accepted it as part of their philanthropic work and thanks to ALL of you who from day one in 2008 compassionately gave your penny jars, beer cans, clothing, and financial contributions. Without you none of this would have been possible.

I thank you from the deepest place in my heart for your generosity and care for others. To me you have also given a gift, and that is the joy of being your messenger of giving.

I look forward to the next year and to the continued growth of Pennies for Partnerships and support from you for others. Let’s Feed Some People while at the Same Time help support those who are making it a safer and cleaner environment for generations to come.

For more information regarding the past year you can visit the blog posts in the side bar.

Additionally if you or anyone you know is interested in supporting the ongoing efforts of pennies for Partnerships please remember Sharing is Caring and you can spread the link on your social networks as all that has been generated to date has been accomplished through networks of friends like you who care. Feel free to forward the email blog or find us on facebook under Pennies for Partnerships and follow our cause and then share it with your network.

To make a tax deductible donation through PayPal look for the Donate button on the blog


or email me at

Also if you are interested in doing a fund raiser there are some great ideas others have presented so your creativity is a real asset to the project. People have fund raised through:

Service projects

Penny Drives

Pledges of Goals for a Ton of rice asking network friends to donate

Portions of sales contributed

What’s to Come:

In the next blog I will tell you of some amazing people I have met in my journey who have creatively generated funding opportunities that are making a great impact on the project.

Thank you again for a wonderful year raising funds to feed the poor.

Much Appreciation,

Leann Halsey

Director- Pennies for Partnerships (TCIA)

Seasons’ Greetings – Change for Change

Season’s Greetings from India

Hello, Namaste, and Tashi Delek.

I am writing today to first wish each of you a most enjoyable and love filled holiday season. As I reflect this Christmas Eve morning on the season of giving and look back at this past year I am consciously aware of your generosity to the Pennies for Partnerships project in which not only did the Tibetan and Indian communities benefit, but I was gifted with the amazing experience of giving as your messenger. I truly love this opportunity to act as an instrument of your giving and therefore, I would like to offer you my sincerest gratitude for your gifts that you have given to assist in addressing economic development through fair trade to Tibetan Organic Farmers and in contributing to the outreach to those who have food insecurity in their daily lives.

The Holiday Season reminds us of the opportunity to give, although, many do this throughout the year. Pennies for Partnerships was able to give through your contributions this past year nearly 6 tons of rice which contributed to both the Tibetan Organic Farmers who struggle with poverty and the Indian Villagers who experience hunger in their days. Thanks to your compassionate giving many benefited.

This season I realize there are numerous organizations and opportunities to give to those in need and many of you have already made your Holiday contributions. I would however like to mention a wonderful example of how a friend garnered support to purchase rice for those in need.

At Thanksgiving this year he passed an envelope around and asked his family members to make small contributions towards the purchase of rice. His family contributed 5 bags of rice, each which costs $15.00 for 55 pounds and feeds a family for about 3 weeks. This shared group contribution will make a substantial difference in the lives of the recipients.

This Christmas Season I would like to keep with the initial mission of Pennies for Partnerships in that giving a little can go a long way. Your assistance in generating continued support through a Partnership for Global Change is very important to help reach the UN Millennium Goals to end hunger and poverty by 2015.

Would you please present to your families and friends at your holiday gatherings the opportunity to give Change for Change.  I envision hats and baskets passed as offerings during this season with people emptying their change pockets, feeling joy as they give a little Change to create a little Change. Your assistance in offering this opportunity to give is also a great gift and service to others. Upon collecting the change you can then donate directly online by visiting our official website for the Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas (TCIA)

or through the blog

The blog offers full details of the project and the results of this past year grassroots efforts; so please feel free to share the blog and encourage your networks to contribute. All your efforts are greatly appreciated.

In conclusion, I would like to Wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I look forward to 2012 and the opportunity to continue the work as your messenger of compassionate giving in India.

Happy Holidays,

Leann Halsey

Director- Pennies for Partnerships (TCIA Philanthropic Initiative)

Pennies for Partnerships Results To Date of Benefits To Recepients

Hello and Tashi Delek

I am writing today to provide you with the results of the current to date review of the Pennies for Partnerships Outreach.

Recently I have had the opportunity to cross paths with some of the recipients of the outreach be it Tibetan organic farmers or the Indian Villagers. I can only say when crossing paths with them it is a very joyous occasion. The smiles on their faces is something I can never capture for you not in a photo or to even be able to describe it to you. What I can tell you is there is a warmth of friendship and a sense of knowing someone cares that comes not only from the look in their eyes or smile on their faces but in the jesters of joyful hellos, tashi deleks, and namastes they offer.   Yesterday I encountered a group of Indian women and children of familiar faces who are those who live in the tents and collect plastic for a small income. They were all piled into a shared jeep which costs them 10 rupees each way and the jeep was packed on top and inside with the bags of their days gatherings of plastic. When they spotted me riding by on my bike (I was speeding by and did not see them at first)  they started leaning out the jeep and yelling and waving with HUGE smiles on their face “Namaste” Aunti Namaste”. I wish I would have had my camera. I felt so blessed to have this connection with them and know that your gifts brought such joy to their lives. In the delivery we always tell them that International Friends Care about them and are the ones who have sent them this gift of rice; I am only the messenger.

Therefore, I want to give you the review of this years outreach in hopes it too will allow you to see the impact your generosity and pennies are making in the lives of others.

Pennies for Partnerships REVIEW Since January 2011

To date 195 bags of 25 kg each (55 pounds) of rice have been delivered. This totals 4875 kg or 10,725 lbs of rice (5.3 Tons). This is estimated to have reached 1170 people as there are approximately 6 people per household. The communities we serve with distribution of rice remain with the environmental focus. Those communities who recycle plastic tend to be some of the poorest communities in India and often resort to begging to meet their basic needs.  In my research I have discovered they are able to make approximately 60 rupees a day and they work 6 days a week excluding holidays (and in India there are many Holy days in the Hindu religion). Therefore in my estimation they live on approximately $1.00 a day. These are the communities noted in the hunger index who are of concern for severe hunger and malnutrition. The subsidy the India government provides only offers them approximately 2 weeks of rice; therefore we gift them an additional 2-3 week supply of rice also benefitting them with the savings of approximately 2 weeks of pay and a more healthy and nutritious supply of organic rice.

The Tibetan Organic Farmers who tend to be some of the poorest yet the hardest working in the Tibetan community and are facing extreme poverty have also benefited from the Pennies for Partnerships procurement of rice at a fair market price. In keeping with moral ethics of Fair Trade we pay directly to the Tibetan Organic Farmers a 50% increase over what they receive from the distributors. Pennies for Partnerships removes the middle man therefore offering a direct benefit to the farmers. To date there are 9 Tibetan Organic Farmers who have benefited with a higher profit on their annual yield of rice procured by Pennies for Partnerships. Additionally we have purchased some rice from the Tibetan Organic Farmers Demonstration Office and Organic Research and Training Center. The following is the breakdown in rupees so you can see the financial benefit offered to the farmers.

  1. Average cost farmers receive when sold to distributors in India who then sell to markets =  15 rupees per 1 kg (2.2 pounds) (depending on exchange rate Approx: $ .32 – $ .29)
  2. Rice purchased directly from Tibetan Organic farmers by Pennies for Partnerships Farmers receive =  22.5 rupees per 1 kg (2.2 pounds) (Approx: $ . 48 – $ .44 )

A Few EXAMPLES of recent benefit to Tibetan Organic Farmers and their income:

One Farmer sold us 500 kg (1,100 lbs) which he/she normally would have received from distributors at rs15 = rs7500 ($166.67) with the Pennies for Partnerships purchase paying rs22.5 = rs 11,250 ($250.00) he/she received an increase in profit of rs3750 ($83.33).

Another farmer sold us 475 kg (1,045 lbs) and he/she would have received from distributors at rs15 = rs7125 ($158.33) with the PfP purchase he/she received an increase in income of at rs22.5 = rs10,687.5 ($237.5) an increase in rs3562.5 ($79.17).

These are only two examples of the way in which the Farmers receive a Fair Market price from Pennies for Partnerships in an effort to assist them with economic support and development while the slow process to establish a fair market distribution for organics in India is underway.

Additionally, the farmers who have resorted to selling their entire crop to the distributors at times live on that one year harvest. An example is a woman farmer who lost her entire crop this year due to monsoon and she had 300 kg of rice remaining from last year. She sold her entire surplus for rs15per kg and will now only have rs4500 ($100) to live on for the entire year until the next harvest season. We hope in our efforts to develop the program to offer assistance to those farmers most in need with financial support to build greenhouses as an alternative method for off season and secure farming as monsoon and climate change have caused serious devastation to the farmers.

Pennies for Partnerships mission is to do our part as a global partner in addressing the call to action to meet  the United Nations Millennium Goals. The areas PfP address are Ending Poverty and Hunger, Environmental Sustainability through Global Partnership. For more information pertaining to the UN Millennium Goals and to the reports of how far we still have to go by 2015 visit the website.

Some of the ideas we have are to develop funding through Tourism on donation, Volunteer Tourism, Grants for Greenhouses, and continued social networking. Your continued support for the project in ways of donation for a bag of rice $15.00 or assistance in spreading and sharing the link to our project through your social networks is greatly appreciated.

Those who may be interested in doing outreach in your community for this holiday season could collect Penny Jars from friends, family and community to continue the ongoing theme of Pennies for Partnerships. If everyone gives a little it goes a long way. Currently one cent ( $ .01) equals 5 rupees.

To contribute see the Donation button on the left side bar or visit our official nonprofit website for the Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas.

Thank you for your continued interest and support to the Pennies for Partnerships Outreach. Your generosity and compassion is greatly appreciated by the many people whose lives you touch to alleviate hunger and poverty.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey (MSW)

Director – Pennies for Partnerships (TCIA Philanthropic initiative)

Pennies for Partnerships Pilot Tour

Hello and Tashi Delek!

Today was a great day as I had the wonderful opportunity of accompanying a family to the Tibetan settlement in Mundgod. The family expressed interest in my work when we met and I mentioned I was looking at ways to develop a tour in which people could visit the Tibetan community in hopes of bringing more international support and awareness to the Tibetan cause. So yesterday we took the bus 4 hours to the Tibetan community leaving behind the luxury of the beach and the western flare of accommodations for tourists.  Unfortunately,  most of our day yesterday was trying to figure out where they could stay since all foreigners are required to have a permit which takes at least 3 months to acquire if you are lucky. Also there is only one hotel available in a village which is not that close. This issue of accommodations proves to be a barrier in preventing some tourists from being able to visit the Tibetan community.

The first day we visited the screen printing shop where they make prayer flags and also the rice mill where the Tibetan organic farmers take the paddy to be milled. Then overcoming the issues of the previous day we started a fresh day together this morning and we ventured to the Loseling Monastery.

The first activity of the day found us  watching the monks in the their morning  debate. The family wandered freely to drift  in and among the monks as they diligently debated the Buddhist philosophy.

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There was some heated action in one  group of monks which drew our attention  to see what the commotion was. Then in  the end of the debate two monks showed  interest in having the photo opportunity  with two of the beautiful children.

Then as all the monks were departing to  find their way to the prayer hall two  Tibetan women in traditional dress graced  us with their presence also for a photo  opportunity.

Then we ventured on to the prayer hall.

There we found the monks chanting their beautiful prayers and the family was able to explore the area and take in the sounds and sights of the beautiful Loseling Prayer Hall.

We were joined by the wonderful Geshe Tsundue who has a smile that touches everyone who has an opportunity to encounter him.

We then went to Camp 3, where we indulged in 3 kinds of momos and Geshe offered a short Tibetan language class.  During lunch the youngest was so cute she took fruit to the Indian woman and her children who were begging and she sat and joined them for a banana.

Following lunch there was shopping and traditional dress was purchased for the young Tibetan activist.

Then the children  played with  the Tibetan  children in the  playground while  Geshe la so  kindly  blessed their  prayer flags they  purchased and  said his goodbye  offering his  generosity  with gifts to the family as a token of his appreciation.

There was a warm feeling all around as the guests were touched by Geshe’s generosity.

We then met with camp leaders to visit an organic farm where the guests offered their knowledge and ideas of organic farming while the children tried their luck at husking the paddy by hand.

Following we visited the Ganden Monastery where the family had the opportunity to see the large kitchens and preparations of food for thousands of monks.

After visiting the prayer hall we too said our goodbyes.

I am so thankful to this lovely family for their time and interest in the Tibetan  community and for offering me the opportunity to show them around. I believe they  too have now been deeply touched like many of us who have had the experience of  this wonderful and beautiful culture. It is experiences like this that Pennies for  Partnerships hopes to help establish support from the international community for  the Tibetan people.

The gift the family gave to Pennies for Partnerships was the opportunity to see if it is possible to do small minitours that will offer exposure and also bring ideas and support to the organic farmers. Now the next step is taking a farmhouse in the near Indian Village where we can house the guests in exchange for a donation to the Pennies for Partnerships project. I have located a farmhouse in a mango grove which is offered by an Indian man who is a philanthropist and is involved with the Tibetan Organic farmers. He is currently offering the house for free, additionally providing a watchman/cook. The house is within walking distance to the Tibetan settlement for those who wish to walk through the fields and groves. The Indian people of his village will also benefit as it will bring tips and donations for the watchman/cook and he will also offer a driver for a daily discounted rate. The longterm opportunity to start the hostel will also provide housing opportunities for volunteers and interns who wish to work on the Pennies for Partnerships project.

One step at a time in the direction of garnering support and awareness from the International community. At this time the farmhouse will need only a few things to get it prepared as it needs mattresses, bedsheets/blankets and a washing bucket . It is in my estimation it will cost approximately $100 to prepare the farmhouse for visitors. If you are interested in assisting with the preparations for the Pennies for Partnerships Hostel your gift will be greatly appreciated. You can donate through paypal or contact me directly through the comment field and I can provide you other options. Look for the donate button on the side bar or visit our main website for Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas

Thank you for your consideration. As well we are still building the funds for the next rice distribution and we are additionally looking into the way in which we can provide financial support or microloans for greenhouses as an alternative method to organic farming so that monsoon season does not completely devastate the farmers.

Sharing is Caring so if you have the time please feel free to share this link with others and remember your Penny Jars are the source of support to many who live on less than a dollar a day. For those in the International Community a penny in the USA currency is the smallest coin so if you too have a small cent that sits not being utilized please consider donating. The concept of Pennies for Partnerships is that a little goes a long way when many contribute a small amount it adds up to a substantial amount to assist those who have very little.

Thanks for keeping up with our developments and always…. a big thanks for your support to the Tibetan community in exile.

Kind regards,


Distribution of Tibetan Organic Rice Reaches Approximately 500 People

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Distribution of Rice Reaches Approximately 500 and Touches Lives

The current project of Pennies for Partnerships is a way in which we show solidarity and support to Tibetans in exile in an effort to assist them while waiting for their return to their homeland. The worsening poverty of the Tibetan Organic Farmers is increasing, as climate change and monsoon rains continue to cause devastation to the farmers’ crops. Therefore, we offer support by purchasing a portion of their annual yield of rice and we distribute to rural Indian villages who suffer from hunger.

The recent meetings with the Tibetan Organic Agricultural Officers provided results of the damages from the excessive rains of monsoon this year. The following is a breakdown of the data provided:

Within the Tibetan Doegueling Tibetan Settlement in Mundgod there are 9 camps. Out of the 9 camps there are 6 camps currently committed to organic farming with a total of 1,280 acres. Three Camps are fully certified organic (3,4,8) and three camps are in the first year of the 3 year process (1,2,5). In 2012 the other three camps will make a commitment to go fully organic (6,7,9). The Doegueling Settlement is the model for all Tibetan Organic farming throughout India.

The monsoon season came early this year and prevented many farmers from the opportunity to plant their rice (paddy) leaving a total of 631 acres fully fallow (not seeded). This accounts for nearly half of all farmland with no crops and an obvious economic hardship for the Tibetan farmers. The other farmland has approximately 298 acres under horticulture, offering fruits as an alternative source of farming and 111 acres are mixed for horticulture, pulses and paddy. However the change to alternative crops of agri-forestry will have on average a 2 to 3 year delay before producing the fruits.

In an effort to assist the Tibetan Organic Farmers, Pennies for Partnerships was able to provide support to those farmers who had remaining stock from last years’ harvest through the purchase of 2075 kg (4565 lbs) of rice.
Pennies for Partnerships’ purchase of rice, is with the hope this will offer the Tibetan Organic Farmers some economic benefit to assist them during the economic hardships in the coming year.

The procurement of rice for the Pennies for Partnerships’ – Compassion in Action Rice Outreach program, distributed on October 22, a total of 2075kg (4565lbs) of rice to both the Indian and Tibetan communities in need.

Additionally, Pennies for Partnerships rice drive is a way to reach those in India who live on less than a dollar a day and suffer from hunger and food insecurity. India is still recognized in the hunger index as one of the countries in severe condition. Also malnutrition in the Indian rural communities is 50% which has serious health consequences. As well, this past year has seen a drastic increase in food costs which is also having a serious adverse affect on those already in need.

In keeping with the past rice distributions which have occurred around holidays the recipients received your generous gifts just prior to the most special holiday of Diwali (October 26), which is the festival of lights. The rice was given as a gift in hopes it will bring the Indian recipients an additional opportunity to experience joy on their most festive holiday and brighten their day.

The condensed meaning of Diwali- popularly known as the “Festival of Lights”, the most significant spiritual meaning is “the awareness of the inner light”, “victory of good over evil”. It refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance, the ignorance that masks one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. With this awakening, comes compassion and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings anand (joy or peace). Diwali is the celebration of this Inner Light. It is through the light that the beauty of this world is revealed or experienced. Diwali literally means a “Row of Lights” as part of the ritual is that in each home they light oil lamps and many fireworks are displayed at night in a symbolic manner. It is a time filled with light and love which signifies the triumph of good over evil and of light over darkness. The purpose it to glorify the light of God, so let the light penetrate inward, for only there will it have lasting benefit. When I visit these villages on the exterior I see the poverty but the people have an inner light shining in their eyes, a look on their faces and a song in their hearts that I realize must come from their spiritual nature.

A little information about the communities served:
The Indian village recipients were gifted 62 bags totaling 1550 kg (3410 pounds) distributed among three villages.

Keeping with an environmental focus we distributed to those who are very poor and collect plastic for recycling. The village of Chodelee averages an income of approximately $1.00 a day. I was informed they collect plastic 6 days a week (excluding holidays, which in India there are many!) and they start their days at 6:00 am to journey to the Tibetan settlement to collect the plastic and return home around 7:00 pm. They average rs100 rupees but then they pay rs40 for the shared jeep transportation as their village is rather far from here. Therefore, they collect in a full day of work a little over a dollar a day for what is about a 12 hour work day. Often this is supporting a family of 4 to 5 people in a home so there are many hardships involved. As well I was informed the 25kg bag of rice will last approximately 2-3 weeks as it is a main substance to sustain.

We also delivered to a community of people who all live in tents and also collect plastic. This was a group of 13 tent families and they appeared to have the greatest level of poverty.

We also returned to a basket weaving community where we delivered last time, as we were unable to serve the entire community in February. They were rather happy to see us and we received a VERY warm welcoming. We delivered an additional 20 bags once again leaving many without receiving the gift. As we departed there were happy faces on those who received and the most difficult to see are those left without; we reminded them we will not forget them and we will return again next time to pick up where we left off as we did this time. Close by this community is a small group of about 8 homes of a laboring community where we also delivered last time. They were also happy to see us arrive again.

Additionally, the Tibetan community received 21 bags totaling 525 kg (1100 pounds) most of which was donated to the Tibetan Old Age home where 150 elders reside.

We estimate that the gifts delivered served approximately 500 people in need.

The people told us stories of their hardships while delivering which included widowed women who struggle to provide for their children, elders who have serious illness as well as paralysis preventing    them from being able to work. Also HIV patients who spend      more than half their monthly income of rs3000 (approximately $60 a month) on meds which cost rs1500 a month and this family has 5 children, and many other stories that add to their already difficult situation. Additionally we encountered those who care for their elders who are 103 years requiring them to be at home fulltime.

One elder woman was in tears as she was so appreciative and explained to use that her husband is very ill and they have been spending everything they have on hospital bills and medical care.

We also experienced those who offered such gratitude by blessing us profusely.

One young boy who was maybe 10 years old (whose family was not a recipient but is a neighbor to the poor labor community) came up to the truck and thanked me for the kindness and thoughtfulness to offer something to the poor, as they are much in need, and then there were the children who all wanted to shake my hand as a gesture of love and appreciation for giving them one less day of hunger.

I reminded each community it is YOU the gift givers who make this possible and that I am only a messenger of the kind people who have given this gift; you have also given me a great gift to be your messenger as the people touch my life dearly.

Thank you to YOU ALL who make this possible. Also, I apologize for the long delay as many of you donated back in March and are just now seeing the results of your gifts.

I would also like to offer huge acknowledgement to the Tibetan Organic Officers who worked so diligently to make this project run so smoothly. They put many long hours to prepare for this large distribution. So much appreciation to them and those who worked alongside them- thank you Tempa, Jamyang, Choendon, Sonam, Ms. Kelsang Lhamo (a Woman Tibetan farmer), the Indian laborer Madhawa, the driver Sahit and Chairman Dhundup.

Also much appreciation to those who have assisted in the preparations in the time leading up to this day, Dhundup from the Tibetan Organic Research and Training Center in Bylakuppe, Mr Chimmey Rinzin CTA agricultural officer in Dharamsala, and the kind Indian Rickshaw driver Mr. Robert who took me around researching the communities the other day.

Now that I am back in the south it is much easier to coordinate the project so we hope to do another distribution soon depending upon funding and gifts received. If you are interested in supporting the ongoing projects to assist the Tibetan Organic Farmers and poor Indian villages, Pennies for Partnerships will be planning another rice distribution. We will additionally be evaluating the potential opportunity to develop greenhouses in order to provide alternative options to the organic farmers so they are able to grow crops during the off season.

Now that Pennies for Partnerships has an official nonprofit status through the non-profit organization Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas ALL donations are tax deductable and you can receive a tax exempt receipt.

Please visit us online at:

You can also email us at:

If you have a preference of where your donation is used, please note in the comment field either rice or development projects.

Thank you again sincerely for your generosity as many lives were touched yesterday and I hope you see the light in the eyes and the joy on the faces in the photos.

Your generosity touches many lives.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey
Director – Pennies for Partnerships (TCIA initiative)

Please keep in mind the gift of giving includes even the smallest acts of kindness . We are grateful for you sharing this information and the link to the project through your social networks.

Day of Global Solidarity with Tibetans

Today October 19, 2011 marks a day of global solidarity in an effort to raise awareness of the Tibetan plight. This year desperate acts of suffering have brought attention to the increase of Chinese military crack down inside Ngaba an eastern Tibetan region. The concerns of the increasing desperate acts of self-immolation of Tibetans who are suffering continues as an outcry to the International community for support to call a halt to the Human Rights violations under Chinese rule. It is a sad and desperate act when members of a community result to lighting themselves on fire to express the deepest of suffering from oppression.

The Tibetan community in exile is asking for people around the world to raise their voice in support of the Tibetan concern for Basic Human Rights to include freedom of religion and freedom of expression. I am writing this today to show support to not only those in Tibet but also to those living in exile who have struggled since 1959 to raise awareness of the concerns inside Tibet and to spread awareness of the growing desperation.

For more information regarding the news on the situation of Tibet visit the online news reports daily at:

Also please take a moment to read a recent post written by a very informed and knowledgeable professor from University of Arkansas as he offers some ideas of how you too can show your solidarity with the Tibetan community.

Another news sources is:

Additionally if you wish to speak out and give a voice to the Tibetans who are under oppressive conditions in Tibet please take a moment and email your representatives and tell them you are concerned and ask for more international involvement.

Your solidarity in giving a voice to those who are silenced is important.

Thank you for taking a moment to care and please share this information with others.

With deepest sympathy to all Tibetans and gratitude to those who create a voice,


TCIA’s Pennies for Partnerships-Ready to DIG in

TCIA- Pennies for Partnerships Ready to DIG in

Tashi Delek and Hello.

It is time to DIG in and get busy with the farmers as I head to Mundgod, India within the next few days. In the past six months there has been little opportunity to actually procure rice for distribution due to off season and my being in the north. But your donations and contributions have been adding up to allow for a very large distribution which will take place soon. Stay tuned for the details of those who benefit from you compassion and generosity.

Recent activity on the Pennies for Partnerships (PfP) project provides a great opportunity to grow the program with the official nonprofit status of the Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas. The excitement in me is sprouting as I met recently with the head of the Tibetan Agricultural Department to discuss PfP’s involvement in their future plans. We discussed the many ways in which PfP can assist the Tibetan Organic Farming initiative.

The first objective of PfP is to assist the farmers with economic development. This year the farmers have struggled due to excessive rains which has prevented farmers the opportunity to plant and harvest rice in a timely manner. Some farmers were able to plant late therefore harvest will come later this season around mid November. There is currently a surplus remaining from last year which we will procure with the gifts that have been contributed over the last six months and distribute to the Indian villages most in need surrounding the Tibetan settlement.

Also in the discussion of future activities of the organic farmers and the Central Tibetan Administrations’ (CTA) long term development plans, we brainstormed ways in which PfP can be involved. Since distribution is a major need the CTA is interested in opening a retail outlet for the organic cooperative. I plan to meet with the leaders in the Mundgod community to assist with the organization of further activities for a farmers market and development of marketing the products. My aspiration is to help empower the people to utilize their creative forces to develop a good marketing plan which will eventually grow their distribution not only locally but nationally and hopefully someday internationally. But as they say in India “slowly-slowly”, as we all know this will take time over the years to come. First there are initial developments needed within the local community.

Most importantly is an educational campaign for the local community which will raise environmental awareness of the benefits for buying organic. I am looking for volunteers who have expertise in this area and who can assist me with the development of a program that we can take to the local schools, institutions and organizations. We discussed presenting to the local leaders the educational awareness campaign in order to facilitate local support to the organic farmers. The farmers in Mundgod have an opportunity now to mill their own rice which eliminates the middle man. This provides the organic farmers the ability to offer their goods at a more competitive price presenting a benefit for the local consumer to buy organic at a price they are accustomed to paying for conventional goods. Considering most of the Tibetans live in poverty this is very important to make it affordable.

Other areas for development which will assist the organic farmers were discussed, such as the need for irrigation systems and greenhouses through the possibility of micro loans. Obviously this is a very costly area of development although a very important initiative. If farmers are given the opportunity to install irrigation systems they will produce two to three times the yield annually; an obvious economic benefit to help lift the farmers from the extreme poverty they are currently experiencing. Also, the development of greenhouses offers potential to grow produce during off season, providing an opportunity to fulfill a market demand. These are very important developments which will assist with financial security and economic growth to the organic farmers. I will discuss these aspects of development with the settlement leaders to determine what the actual investment is to install irrigation systems and build greenhouses. Recently I was contacted by an individual who has interest in possibly being the first to support a micro loan, we hope this will materialize.

Additionally we discussed the development of a program within the PfP outreach of rice distribution to include Tibetan teenage youth. By including the youth we will implement the educational components of environmental awareness as well as Compassion in Action to the local Indian neighbors who experience hunger. I will present this idea to the settlement leaders who will be able to assist further with avenues and ways to best involve the youth in the community.

So as you can see, there are lots of exciting ideas and ways we can assist the organic farmers. If you are interested in getting involved there are many ways one can volunteer from abroad. Please contact me for more information as it would be great to garner support from those who have contacts with groups looking for service projects. Keep in mind the initial Pennies for Partnerships campaign started with people donating their Penny Jars. You too can start a small fund raiser and ask those around you to donate their pennies for a worthy cause.

It is now even easier….you can donate directly online through the Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas (TCIA) and receive a tax exemption for your contributions. Please visit the link below to make your donation through paypal. If you would like to donate other than online please contact me directly and I can provide you additional details.

Please keep in mind you can show your support by sharing this information with others and subscribing to our blog. Jut subscribe by clicking on the colorful MANDALA on the left.

This important initiative is only made possible through your compassion and generosity and we thank you sincerely for your continued support.

Feel free to contact us directly through the comment field or email us directly at

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey
Director of Pennies for Partnerships (TCIA initiative)

Pennies for Partnerships Accepted as TCIA Philanthropy

As a member of TCIA and the director of Pennies for Partnerships (PfP), it is with much enthusiasm I announce the development of PfP now as an active initiative within the Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas (TCIA), a nonprofit organization, located in Fayetteville. Over the years I have had the opportunity to be involved with members of this organization, be it professors from the University of Arkansas who gave me insight to the Tibetan plight or members of the community I have engaged with in different ways. As well, I attended the first of their meetings but was shortly relocated to New Orleans, so I am thrilled to back connected with TCIA and be working together on important initiatives to assist the Tibetan community and preserve Tibetan culture.

Just a little history for you:

Professor Sidney Burris and Ven Geshe Thupten Dorjee are two professors I was blessed to have during my BSW degree at University of Arkansas. The two of them are amazing professors and I took classes on Nonviolence, Tibetan Buddhist Culture, and was involved with the first TEXT: Tibetans in Exile Today project (an oral history project). My first trip to India was with the TEXT project led by Geshe Dorjee and Dr. Burris.

Many of you were a part of the initial Pennies for Partnerships project where you donated jars full of pennies, and aluminum cans for recycling in order to help generate funds for one of the very important initiatives of TCIA called Tutors for Tibetans (originally titled Tibetan Children’s Heritage Fund). The first ever PfP fund raiser generated the initial support to start a pilot program which has now been in effect since 2008 and serves children in the Tibetan settlement of Mundgod. It is a tutoring project that is now expanding to another location within the same area. It is the hope of Professor Burris and Geshe Dorjee that some day the tutoring program will be made available to all children in the settlements.

In addition, Professor Burris and Geshe Dorjee were instrumental in bringing the Dalai Lama to the University of Arkansas in May 2011. TCIA offered a great deal of support and involvement for this incredible event. It is with much appreciation and gratitude to have such an amazing group of people support the continued efforts of Pennies for Partnerships. Here is the website address where you can find out more about the TCIA.

Also I would like to explain how this opportunity works. With the official nonprofit status all donations can be made online and will be tax deductible. As the two of us are pushing forward to make this happen there will be development of links on each of our websites, for now though if you or anyone you know is interested in making a contribution to the Pennies for Partnerships project please just go to the donations link and make your donation but YOU MUST DESIGNATE IN THE COMMENT BOX the donation is for the “Pennies for Partnerships” (PfP) farmers project or use my name or the word “RICE”!

As the details are furthered I will post again in the future.

As of now I have been in contact with the Organic Farmers Research and Training Division and they have explained there have been many complications for the farmers this year and they are very grateful for the support to the organic farmers. A schedule is in place for October to make the largest supportive purchase yet for the organic rice which will be distributed to the local Indian Villages where hunger is an issue. Also development for an organic market in
the Tibetan settlement is being discussed and how PfP can assist with this economic development plan for the Tibetan Organic Farmers.

Please if you are interested in supporting the growth of the Pennies for Partnerships project in support of the organic farming initiative you can go directly to the TCIA donate page and make your contribution for PfP (please note in comment box). Also you can give to this initiative by sharing this information with others. An additional way you can show support is, if you know of any groups or organizations interested in a service project I am happy to provide details and information of how to get involved. I can be reached at

Thank you to TCIA for taking PfP under their philanthropic initiatives and thank you to you all for your years of continued support.

Kind regrads,


Gearing Up for Harvest

Hello and Tashi Delek.

Time to think Rice…but first a quick update of what has been occupying my last several months.

I first would like to apologize for the long absence in not updating you all. Since I have been in the north the project of rice delivery has taken a break while I give in other ways to the Tibetan community with the use of my social work skills. I have been blessed with the opportunity to do volunteer work with Tibetan Women’s Association which is an amazing women’s run NGO. The types of things I have been able to do with them is report writing/editing, grant writing, and most exciting is attending different training and workshops.

Two workshops that were very informative and exciting were first the Dukar Project (pilot training) which is an organization I am happy to now have affiliation with. The project is under the umbrella of The International Center for Mental Health and Human Rights based out of Austin Texas. Gaea Logan is the director of the program and is offering a training program for mental health workers in the Tibetan community. This is a very exciting program and I look forward to the further develop and involvement. I provided the organization with a pretest/posttest evaluation to measure the best practices of effectiveness which showed positive results of the initial training for increasing confidence levels of mental health workers to provide mindfulness counseling. I am blessed to have met Gaea through TWA since the results of my research in 2009 furthered my awareness of depression and anxiety concern in the community. It is wonderful to see the development of a program to address this area. Take a look at their website and note the Dukar Project.

Also I had the opportunity to attend a Human Rights workshop offered by Human Rights Law Network. This was a collaborative effort of HRLN, an Indian based Human Rights organization, and the four leading Tibetan NGOs. The workshop focused on informing the Tibetan attendees of the Indian Laws and the fundamental rights of Tibetans in India. This provided me with a new level of knowledge regarding the Tibetans living in India and their legal status under Indian Law. I was responsible for reporting on the weekend event which allowed me to further develop my skills with the use of applying an analytical perspective to reporting as well as providing a program evaluation.

NOW for the update on the Pennies for Partnerships Project with Organic Farmers.

I am awaiting what is referred to as a PAP (protected area permit). Many of the Tibetan settlements in India require a special permit to stay in the Tibetan community and it takes a minimum of 3 months for processing through the Indian government. I am anxiously awaiting the approval in order to return to the south to coordinate the next Rice purchase and delivery. At this time I am happy to announce this will be the LARGEST distribution and it follows the anticipated growth of doubling each delivery size thanks to the generosity of you the gift givers. Depending on the opportunity to secure the price it appears 100+ households will benefit from your gifts to Pennies for Partnerships.

At this time I have yet to establish the logistical costs for such a large distribution and it is difficult to do from afar. I will however be looking for a donor that might be interested in contributing to the logistics as to this point all donations are secured to address hunger. In the past these costs have been minimal at around 3% of the total amount of rice purchased. If you know of anyone that might be interested in donating to the operational/logistical costs please provide them my contact information. or or they can make a comment of this blog for me to contact directly.

With the current donations and the possibility of adding an additional 100 households we are looking at, to date, the Pennies for Partnerships rice project will accomplish an outreach to 214 households. This constitutes the following breakdown:

214 households to be served (once distribution is completed in September) 25 kg bags of rice each.
Which is 11,770 pounds of rice or 5.9 TONS of rice gifted to those in need by Pennies for Partnerships gift givers.

Of course we hope this number will be increased as we gear up again and hope you will share this news with others who may be interested in supporting the project. Also I apologize but the give now button on the left is not working so if interested in contributing please contact directly. I am in need of some web maintenance but the administrator is currently occupied with other projects so I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but soon I hope to provide a direct link for an online gift giving option.

Additionally, I am awaiting (hopefully) good news from a potential partnership with an Arkansas based nonprofit organization who may take this project under their umbrella. If so this will be a wonderful opportunity to partner with an organization that also manages projects to assist Tibetans in the same settlement (Mundgod) and the mission to preserve the Tibetan Culture. More details to be provided hopefully soon on this development.

Once again I want to remind you all how very very appreciative I am of your support to the program and I promise soon you will see the results of your gifts in the distribution to those in need as well as to the Tibetan Organic Farmers.

Much respect and gratitude to you all.

Kind regards,


Please spread the word… Pennies for Partnerships mission includes economic development for poor organic farmers, address hunger and food insecurity, and outreach for community inclusion between oppressed populations.

Pennies for Partnerships Distribution in McLeod ganj, India

Tashi Delek! Thanks to the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) and the 6th graders who attend Holy Trinity Interparochial School in Westfield, NJ who generously contributed the funds for the distribution in McLeod ganj, India. I would also like to apologize to the 6th grade class for the extended delay in finalizing the project. As well I want to express the wonderful gratitude and appreciation of those in the Tibetan community who received the gift of rice and also a copy of the lovely card you made.

The distribution in Mcleod ganj was focused on distributing to Tibetan refugees in need. TWA’s General Secretary Tsering Yangzom Oshoe and staff member Tenzin Deckyi administered the needs assessment to determine the beneficiaries in the community. Without their hardwork and effective research the project would have proven to be extremely difficult. They listed those most in need, located their homes, and contacted each beneficiary to let them know when we were planning to arrive. Also Dickyi was invaluable to the project as she knew how to reach all the homes in the most efficient time and she did all the translating.

The beneficiaries consisted of five families and four individuals. The families received a 55 pound bag of rice each with a copy of the card and the individuals received a 25 pound bag of rice and a card.

Due to the timely nature of completing the distribution before Holy Trinity school breaks for summer and wanting to provide an outcome for the students we changed the distribution to purchase rice from local Himachal Pradesh Indian farmers (purchased through the nice man at the market by my home) and we distributed to Tibetan refugees. Although this distribution was smaller than past rice distributions the logistics were much more complicated and took substantial time in planning, hence the delay.

The distribution found us getting a lot of good exercise as we made our way to the various homes up and down the Himalaya Mountain town. I discovered places in McLeod I had never been to as well we discovered some additional areas of concern that will be discussed with TWA to try to address the needs of one particular recipient.

Our final location took us to one Tibetan Nuns home; she had waited for several hours as the distribution was taking a great deal more time than we thought. She was very patient and very appreciative. She asked I write my name on the card as she expressed she wanted to pray for longlife for us. Thanks to TWA staff member Deckyi, she wrote down in Tibetan my name and the 6th grade class.

The Anni la (that’s how the Tibetans refer to the nuns) profusely thanked us, prayed over us and gave each of us a traditional Tibetan blessing with a khata scarf (white scare). She additionally gave one to me for the children of the 6th grade class of Holy Trinity while praying each time for longlife.

I think this was also a special moment in the day for the young Indian man Raju who labored for us. This is part of the community inclusion that the project offers.

Thank you to the students of Holy Trinity as this distribution was wonderful and very memorable. The Tibetan people are such an amazing community and I hope for you students someday you may experience the Tibetan culture yourself if you have not already. I know there is a large population in New York City so maybe you have been to some events.

I sincerely appreciate being your ambassador of giving and the messenger of your compassion and generosity.

May you each be blessed and have a wonderful summer break. Feel free to e-mail me at anytime.

As the Tibetans would say Thujeeche (Thank you).

Update of Planned Distribution

Tashi Delek.

I would like to first thank everyone who has donated to the Pennies for Partnerships and provide you an update.

We currently have funding to purchase approximately 85 bags of organic rice at 25kg (55 pounds each). This is an additional 2125 kg (4675 pounds). The schedule for this large distribution will occur in a few months based on receiving the proper permits and also following the harvest. Until then we would like to continue to generate funds for the projects with the hopes of distributing to as many families as possible.

The above total does not include 7 bags which will be purchased for the school project alone which we will be scheduling to do the distribution in the next week. Because of logistics and timing we are unable to procure Tibetan Organic Rice and deliver to the India village so we have modified the project. since the class will be breaking soon and we need to provide follow up to the students we have decided to remain in the spirit of both communities benefiting so we will purchase local rice from the Indian farmers in Himachal Pradesh and distribute to some of the Tibetan refugees most in need. Thanks to the Tibetan Women’s Association we are able to efficiently locate the families and individuals most in need here in Dharamsala.

So to bring you up to date fully.

Pennies for Partnerships has already served 105 families in India and will serve at this time an additional 92 household making a total of 197 households served. The total amount of rice purchases that has been provided by gifts to Pennies for Partnerships is 10,835 pounds of rice (4925 kg).

I would like to say this is only make possible by your generous contributions.

Also soon there will be a group of fellows arriving in India who have expressed interest in giving energy to the project to assist the farmers. This is a very exciting opportunity for us to welcome new and fresh energy in hopes of building upon the current foundation of Pennies for Partnerships.

I would like to also mention a discussion with a fellow social worker of whom I met when the relationship with the Tibetan Farmers was first being developed. Because PfP has always been a project that supported existing Tibetan organizations she and I have been discussing the way in which we can combine forces since she was inspired by this project to return to California and have a fund raiser for the Tibetan Old People’s Home in Mundgod settlement camp. She recently brought in approximately $1400 to assist with projects for the elders and also contributed money for PfP to subsist with the purchase of organic foods for the elders. More to come on the ways in which the partnerships will develop.

Again thank you and if you have a creative idea, want to get involved, or want to contribute please comment or e-mail me:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

Pennies for Partnerships Celebrates Dalai Lama at U of A from India

Tashi Delek from India!

From today until midnight on May 11th I would like to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s visit to the University of Arkansas where I first came to learn of the Tibetan struggle.

In 2008 I had the privilege to study under two amazing professors at the U of A, Dr. Burris and Geshe Dorjee who introduced me not only to the Tibetan community but to Tibetan Buddhism and the cultural values of this community.

Dr. Burris and Geshe Dorjee have been instrumental in bringing the Dalai Lama to Arkansas.

I am sad to be missing the event at the U of A as I know it is a very exciting time but I am here in India, as a social worker, volunteering in the community of which I feel drawn to advocate and garner support for; especially after my experiences in 2008 with the TEXT: Tibetans in Exile Today Program and my social work internship with the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA).

Today I would like to initiate an online celebration of the Dalai Lama’s visit to the U of A while at the same time drum up support for the Tibetan community in exile. There are many ways in which you can get involved and I will name a few.

WIN A TIBETAN HANDICRAFT – Buy an online raffle ticket by supporting the Pennies for Partnerships Rice Drive

Pennies for Partnerships is conducting a fund raiser to support Tibetan Organic Farmers, who are the poorest in the community and work the most labor intensive jobs and need assistance in economic development to sustain their environmental commitment to organic farming.

Pennies for Partnerships is having a RAFFLE. For every $15.00 gifted for a bag of rice your name will go into a drawing to WIN a Tibetan Handicraft Item. This is approximately the cost of 1 bag of rice which is 55 pounds (minus online transaction fees) and can feed a family for approximately one month.

There will be 3 WINNERS for the raffle not to mention all the people who will benefit from your gift.

Starting NOW anyone who contributes to Pennies for Partnerships will have their name put in a hat for a drawing to win a Tibetan handicraft gift sent from India directly to YOUR doorstep.

In order to participate you can contribute online.

or you can mail a check BUT YOU NEED to MESSAGE me for this info or e-mail me directly at:

or for those of you who live in Fayetteville, AR you can donate directly at the Bank of Fayetteville BUT YOU MUST MESSAGE ME FIRST for the information.

100% of your contribution will go for the purchase of rice (less fees for processing online transaction) to support the Tibetan Organic Farmers and the rice will be distributed to disadvantaged households who live on less than a dollar a day.

Let’s show the Tibetan community we care. Gift a bag of rice and WIN a Tibetan Handicraft.

Thank you for your gifts of compassion. The Pennies for Partnerships is only made possible by YOU and I am pleased to be your messenger of YOUR generosity. PLEASE Spread the word by JOINING us on facebook

Thank you,


Other organizations Pennies for Partnerships has supported previously do great work and have initiatives you can support. If interested in showing support to these organizations please contact them directly.

Pennies for Partnerships’ first initiative in 2008 supported the pilot program of Tutors for Tibetans (initially known as Tibetan Children’s Heritage), a program developed to offer Tibetan students assistance with their studies and directed by Dr. Burris and Geshe Dorjee. For more details visit their website

The Tutors fro Tibetans is under the umbrella of a wonderful nonprofit organization which you can support – The Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas

Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) is another organization Pennies for Partnerships supported in 2008. TWA is currently assisting Pennies for Partnerships with information regarding families in need who will be recipients of a rice distribution to occur soon. For more information visit their website

In 2009 Pennies for Partnerships supported a clothing drive and also an online raffle for Lha Charitable Trust. Lha Charitable Trust has a support system in Fayetteville through St. Paul’s Episcopol Church for a community soup kitchen initiative. If you are interested in this project contact the church or the following organizations. or

Support to these organizations are not included in the raffle.

This online celebration is an effort to recognize the Dalai Lama’s wonderful work in the world of teaching about Peace and Nonviolence by generating support for the Tibetan community. These projects are made possible by those of you who care.

The Spirit of Giving Garners Support from Amazing People

Tashi Delek and Hello to everyone!

Today is a fresh day with wonderful surprises and affirmation of the future of Pennies for Partnerships as the SPIRIT of GIVING prevails.

For the past week I have spent my energy in finding new avenues for ways to garner support for the project. A message came through so prominently on this beautiful sunny morning in the little Himalayan town of McLeod ganj, as there will sometimes be disappointments but then there will always be support and affirmation if your motivation is correct.
My big lesson I have learned is to PUT IT OUT THERE (in the universe) the opportunity to give and the spirit will arrive.

The SPIRIT OF GIVING finds a way to present itself in ways we may never see coming and the love for humanity will prevail.

Today I received an e-mail regarding a young woman I do not know who has requested in her invitation for her combined birthday/graduation party that in lieu of gifts she would like everyone to make a donation to Pennies for Partnerships. What an amazing woman who has the spirit of selflessness and compassion. Much gratitude for her thoughtfulness of others and her generosity. I can only imagine her future is very bright as she will certainly be blessed for her actions.

In addition this past week I received notices from 10 people in 6 states in the U.S. that have offered to advocate for the project by volunteering to facilitate promotional materials. They have volunteered their time to distribute flyers to businesses and community organizations to advance the visibility of the project. This is also an incredible gift to the project as giving is not always about monetary contributions but about the ways in which one can offer support to others. So also many thanks to those who offer their time and energy to see to it that advocating for others in our global community is a worthy cause. Sharing information and believing in the SPIRIT of GIVING is a huge gift.

So if you or anyone you know is interested in getting involved with Pennies for Partnerships please provide them information of the project. We can garner support from many avenues such as distribution of information to businesses and organizations, schools, sororities/fraternities, church groups, sustainability and environmental groups,…etc. There are materials available to support groups, classrooms and organizations interested in service projects as well as we are always open to new ideas.

Anyone interested in being a part of the distribution process please contact me – we are currently planning the largest distribution yet for the end of August first of September where we will return to South India and volunteers will have the opportunity to meet Tibetan Organic Farmers and witness harvest season. As well volunteers will have the opportunity to engage in the giving process when we arrive to the doorsteps of the Indian Villages unannounced. I cannot tell you what an amazing experience it is to be a part of the community inclusion when Tibetans and volunteers surprise deliver rice to the doorsteps of those who experience hunger and to see the immense appreciation from the community for the support and gifts provided from the international friends. (if you would like to correspond with two volunteers from Ohio that were a part of the first distribution to see what their experience was like please let me know).

Also please keep in mind anyone interested in making a gift contribution can do so ether online right now through the Give Forward fund raiser which the orange button on the left will take you directly there or you can provide the website to others Give Forward

Also many thanks for the generosity of those who have contributed through the Give Forward site in the past week….all gifts small and large are 100% beneficial and go completely for the purchase of rice. We are 10% of the way and if you can help spread the word through your social network it would be a way of giving as well. In addition it is wonderful to see the presence of the International support and special thanks to our newest country representative from Italy. Pennies for Partnerships is receiving International support as SPIRIT GIVERS from the following countries have shown support of Pennies for Partnerships: U.S, Germany, Italy, and Portugal and with the online opportunity for contributions we hope to see this representation of the international friends expanding even more as distribution of flyers will also be made soon in locations in India.

Also please remember this project is made possible because of YOU; I am only the messenger of your compassion.

More updates to come and if you would like to distribute materials please e-mail me directly or comment on the page; I will e-mail you back. or

My enthusiasm and excitement for the future of Pennies for Partnerships is through the roof today as I see the amazing support and compassion of those of you have the SPIRIT of GIVING.

Thank you!

Much love,

Leann Halsey

Man no man, woman, or child go hungry in a world of plenty!

Pennies for Partnerships Update

Hello everyone! Thanks to all who support the Pennies for Partnerships project so I am giving you an update:

The project supports Tibetan Refugees in the Organic Farming Community while at the same time assisting Indian Villagers who live on less than a dollar a day and experience hunger in their daily lives. I have been told the Tibetan Organic Farmers are struggling the most due to poverty in the refugee community while working the most labor intensive job. There is much concern for these farmers and the Tibetan government in exile is very thankful for your support to the farmers as the outreach assists greatly with economic development while the organic market is being developed in India.

The project purchases 25 kg (55 pounds) of organic rice for $14.00 each and delivers to the doorsteps of those in need.

Thanks to you we have distributed to date to 105 household a total of 5775 pounds of rice. With the recent receipts the planning for the next distribution is in the works. At this time we can purchase 58 bags of rice and distribute an additional 3190 pounds. This would bring the total to date: 8965 pounds of rice and 163 households.

There is a fund raiser in the works to add to this number because there will be a great deal of personal cost and time to travel to the Tibetan Farming Community as well there are substantially many more people in need as India is in the top 29 countries with the highest hunger index. If interested in supporting this project there is an online option for gifting rice which is through the Give Forward website (see Give Now button on the left). As well you can mail a check or make a direct deposit if you prefer; just comment or e-mail me and I will provide you details of how.

According to the Economist magazine India ranked 67th among 85 countries in terms of access to food with an index of 24.1. Values between 20 and 29.9 on the index denote an “alarming” hunger situation. (data taken from

Another report from 2009 stated that 230 million people are undernourished — the highest for any country in the world. Malnutrition accounts for nearly 50% of child deaths in India as every third adult (aged 15-49 years) is reported to be thin (BMI less than 18.5). According to the latest report on the state of food insecurity in rural India, more than 1.5 million children are at risk of becoming malnourished because of rising global food prices. ((data taken from

Thank you to you all for your continued support and effort to assist the Organic Farmers while addressing hunger in our global community. Your efforts are what make this possible.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey

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