Well, here we are. The eve of the delivery. We've raised over ₹5, 00, 000 from people around the world, and by the end of this week, we'll have delivered meals to 5,264 kids. We've placed phone calls to nearly 80 orphanages and racked up positively astounding cell phone bills. Before the delivery, though, I wanted to talk about the actual process behind the initiative.
Like last year, we decided to do this altogether too close to D-day: we wanted to do the deliveries on the 15th of August, and we began work on the 1st of August, only 15 days before. The first thing we had to do was get in touch with McDonald's. We called their head office in Mumbai, where we navigated an electronic answering system that was, apparently, designed to make life as difficult for callers as possible. Several minutes and an angry outburst and later, I was speaking to the operator at McDonald's, who connected me with someone else, who connected me, via a third intermediary, with their operations expert for south India. He's the one who's been coordinating deliveries and dealing with our numerous little errors without complaint.
Once we had McDonald's on board, the next challenge was finding 5000 kids. We already had a 1000 kids in 16 orphanages from last year. We found another 60-odd locations by doing a Google search for "Orphanages in Bangalore" and then copy-pasting the results into a spreadsheet. Then, I recruited another 5 volunteers, and we began calling the orphanages. Over the course of a week, we called all the orphanages and got their blessing for the initiative.
During the same week, we set up a page on Milaap.org, the fundraising platform we used. We brought our Facebook page back to life and began pouring money into Facebook ads in order to have our posts reach more people. We wrote e-mails to even more people, asking for money. I even wrote two blog posts about it! We WhatsApped everyone we knew, telling them what we were doing and asking them to donate.
Finally, with our typing fingers sore and our ears aching from all the phoning we'd been doing, we arrived here, at the day before the deliveries. Tomorrow, we'll each be visiting one of the locations, getting pictures and so on. I'll make another post once it's done, letting you guys know how it went.