First Annual Birthday Benefit Jam

As some of you know, I traditionally celebrate my birthday for a week. Sounds crazy I know, but really, it’s more of an excuse to plan fun events and see all my friends. This year, I decided to give a twist to one of my traditional events. Generally, I hold a bonfire at Golden Gardens and invite all of my musician friends to come jam the night away.

This year, I thought I would turn it into a benefit jam. I thought I would take a casual donation jar around and collect some funds, but once I got the benefit jam idea into my head, it quickly escalated into a concert. I wanted to keep the crowd small though, since it would be the only thing I would do for my birthday and wanted to keep the event intimate, but finding a low cost venue proved harder to find than originally thought! Finally, 6 days before the set date, my dear neighbor Kim heard of my predicament and offered her BEAUTIFUL waterfront home for my benefit jam. So we were set!

I decided to choose Lha as the beneficiary since the experience I had there was the most significant for me. I set up an online site to collect funds and off we were! I auctioned off some framed travel photos and at the end of the night, we had a packed house and everyone was dancing the night away!

I decided that I might try to turn this into an annual event, and hopefully I’ll be employed by then so I can actually put some money towards paying musicians. A HUGE thanks to Impossible Bird, Heels to the Hardwood and Patrick Files for making the night so incredibly magical and playing for free! I was so blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people who came from near and far (Bellingham!). It was truly overwhelming for me.

It took me a while to get all the cash donations deposited, but in total we raised: $1,352.20. Not bad for an event for 50 people and a couple weeks of planning? I sent an e-mail to Lha, telling them of my collection and to ask for information on how to make the appropriate deposit. This was the response:

Dear Sandy,

It is so wonderful to hear from our former volunteers like you and that you have raised funds for Lha. How wonderful of you to think of Lha and collect some money that will definitely help us in our works here in Dharamsala India. Thank you very much for your initiation and support to Lha. We are really glad to you are happy and touched by our organization’s students and work.

Regarding the check, yes, you can send it to us by post. Here is the address: 
(Excluded financial information for posting)

I’ve checked your fundraising site and it shows how much you’ve been inspired while volunteering at Lha but it is also true that volunteers, including you, make our work a success by bringing some change and joy to our students and the community. This means so much to us and of course your amazing contribution. Plus many people now know about Lha through your concert and fundraising, great! Thank you again.

With best wishes,

Ngawang Rabgyal


I am so happy to pass along the donations. Just waiting for the last few days for a couple last minute donations. Then I’ll be set to wire this money away!

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