We have successfully distributed more than 10,000 Relief Packs. This means thousands of families are no longer hungry; no longer feeling alone.
The Relief Packs contain enough food for one week. In line with our mission and vision, OLTL will see these families through this crisis, providing them enough food, soap, sanitary pads and medicine needed until they are able to lift their heads above water.
We need your help to do this. $12 sponsors a family for a week. But we are not sure when migrant families will be back to work and out of this vulnerable position. Anything you give will be a huge help and give lots of hope to these families.
News on the Migrant crises amid COVID-19 in India: UN Article , The Caravan, Times of India
30 April 2021
30 May 2020
We are proud and grateful to announce that we have distributed more than 8,200 relief packs to migrant families in need.
48 days ago, thousands of migrant families were faced with fear, despair, and helplessness. We have watched that fear turn to relief, despair to comfort, and helplessness to hope.
All this would not be possible without the generosity of hundreds of people all over the world. Thank you to everyone who donated, shared and spread the word. And a huge thank you to our #covidwarriors on the ground in India: OLTL volunteers who have been working tirelessly to identify and address the needs of thousands of people. Thank you all!
Staying true to our mission, OLTL will continue to provide relief packs to anyone in need.
28 May 2020
“When they announced the lockdown, all of my neighbors packed up their things and started walking to their villages. They were pressuring me to come, telling me that I would starve here in Delhi. But my daughter has special needs, so how could I walk such a long distance? That’s why I decided to stay.”
“One Life to Love has been giving me rations every week so that I can continue to feed my daughter and sons. One Life to Love is better than family for me- they truly care for my daughter and me and anyone who is in need. “
“I feel they act out the love of God for people who have nowhere else to turn, so I pray for them. I cannot do much to return my thanks, so I pray for them everyday.”
-Sapna, mother of Pooja, a student in our Daycare for Girls with Special Needs.
📷: @jenellekappephoto, Sapna cooking in her home
26 May 2020
Today I met a 30 year old woman named Priya. She and her husband and three children moved to Delhi 4 years ago. She said they were escaping a famine.
She said, “One night we were counting grains of rice when my husband burst into tears.” They took a train to Delhi a few days later. The city terrified her. The crowds, dust, and pavement is something that she is just now getting accustomed to.
Priya said she was shook to her core when the lockdown was announced. She thought to herself, “Why is hunger stalking my family?” She borrowed rice and lentils from her neighbors, and waited on long lines to get just one small plate of cooked food. They were suffering.
Then her husband heard about One Life to Love, and he walked two towns over to get a relief pack.
Today I met Priya outside her shanty home. They have no running water, electricity, privacy or safety. It was 110 degrees today, and the tin roof of her shanty acts like an oven, heating up the room to 135+.
The only difference between me and Priya is a chance of latitude and longitude. I happened to be born to a middle class family in #NewJersey, blessed with health and opportunity. She was born to poor farmers in a poor village in India, married off at a young age, denied education and equal rights.
Priya does not want a hand out. But she surely does not want her children to suffer. What other option does she have? Even so, she counted her blessings today.
Next to her shanty is a big neem tree. Priya pointed to it and said, “When I sit under this tree, I feel like I am in my village. It brings back good memories, and gives me shade to rest. I’m very grateful for that tree!”
I want to glean from Priya- a woman who is facing hunger, sickness, ill-fate but still able to count her blessings. I want to cultivate a heart of gratitude like hers!
22 May 2020
“We are sleeping at the railway station now; maybe we can get a seat on the next train.”
The government is slowly but surely attempting to address the migrant crisis by offering a few trains to take them back to their villages.
However, seats are limited and the throngs of migrants in desperation to go back home is overwhelming. So many families are sleeping at the railway stations or near the railway tracks to try and better their chances of getting on a train.
Please continue to pray for migrant families and support our work to provide their most basic needs during this crisis.
13 May 2020
Sixteen migrant workers were killed last Friday morning after they stopped for rest on the railway tracks. .
They had walked 45 km from one city to another, and were going towards their home village, another 120 km away, on foot in hopes of catching a train. .
A survivor of the accident said they were growing desperate, running out of food. They applied for help, but didn’t receive any reply, so they decided to start their journey home. .
Our hearts and prayers go out to these young people and their families and all migrant workers right now. .
It’s been five weeks since the lockdown was announced in India. Migrant workers are growing desperate. They are tired. They are hard pressed on all sides. . One Life to Love will continue to face this overwhelming crisis by providing them with their basic needs. To date, we have distributed 5,350 relief packs. .
Every donation enables us to help more and more families through this crisis.
6 May 2020
Let everyone know you Stand with Mothers. Download our Mother’s Day social media posters here: Helping Mothers in India
5 May 2020
“I have always felt so committed to OLTL. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel even more compelled to do my birthday benefit for them.
Here in the USA, we are all struggling in different ways, but in India there are children who do not have food right now. I’m so grateful to OLTL and I am proud to support them in their work to give these children and their families food and medicine.
In a time of much suffering it is important to realize that we are each a microscopic piece of the universe and that we need to join together to help those in need.”
Join us live to celebrate Mary’s 15th birthday celebration. She’ll be performing live via instagram and facebook as part of her 3rd annual benefit concert tonight 8pm-10pm EST
#GivingTuesday #GivingTuesdayNow #Weare1worldsong
4 May 2020
Thanks to your support, 4,082 relief packs have been distributed so far! While we continue to reach thousands of people with relief, the need is still so great.
On Friday we got a call from a nearby slum after we had already distributed 250 packs- there were more than two dozen more families who had not eaten that day.
OLTL founder @courtneylalotra shares her first-hand experience with those families below:
We just finished distributing relief packs to 250 families. Then we got a call from a young man who sounded as if he had made a hundred calls before this one and we were his last hope.
“There are small children here… please…… if there is anything you can do to help us….we have not eaten today.”
He was calling from a slum where 27 families live. They are all migrants who earn their living working as maids or by washing cars. Since the lockdown was announced last month, they have been struggling to find food.
We loaded our little red car again with the packs and pulled up to the slum. Bare feet shuffled toward us, dragging dust into the night air already dense with heat and mosquitos. They crowded around creating an aura heavy with worry. They were eager with hunger and scared we would not have enough for everyone. We began distributing and they moved quickly.
Women used their shawls to tie up the loose items into a tight package that could be carried on their heads back to their shanty huts. They walked back home, carrying those heavy loads on their heads, but somehow they seemed much lighter. They smiled; they breathed. Tonight they will eat; their children will eat; the whole community will eat.
Your donations are lifting heavy burdens from the shoulders of mothers and fathers. Please consider sponsoring a family through this crisis. $36 will feed a migrant family for the rest of the lockdown. You can use the link in our profile to donate or visit our website.
1 May 2020
We loaded the truck full of rice, flour and vegetables and headed to the distribution grounds. We were greeted by thousands of eyes that spoke more than words ever could. It’s all in the eyes. The eyes have their own vocabulary, a language that transcends languages. . They spoke of hunger, fear, abandonment and shame. These are people who work hard for their daily bread. The eyes that spoke the most about shame were those of the fathers. Men are told they are born to be providers for their families. For migrants, that traditional obligation is already distressingly difficult to meet. And now, the pandemic has ubiquitously stripped them of any capacity to care for their families. . One man we met said, “I had been skipping meals, only eating when I felt faint. I wanted to save as much food for my wife just in case. She is pregnant and still nursing our 2 year old.” . We often get stuck on statistics- we have fed over 3,000 families in two weeks- that’s incredible. But we cannot remove the individuals from these facts. We have to remember these are human beings, like the one I just quoted- people like you and me. . While we want to share every moment with you, our donors and supporters, the immense impact your generosity is having in the lives of thousands of people right now. We have to first respect the humanity of the individuals we are helping. . To photograph a person in this moment is to capture them in their defeat. We believe in the integrity of photojournalism and will remain committed to documenting this crisis. However, we would like to be upfront in letting you know, our supporters and community, that moving forward we will no longer share images without a persons consent, and when sharing any stories we will be utilizing pseudonyms. We are hopeful that you will agree in our principle of wanting these families to receive care and support without feeling exploited.
28 April 2020
#GivingTuesdayNow is just a week away.
We are excited to announce on May 5th Mary Jodry (@mary_louisa_jodry), an actor/singer/songwriter signed with Carson-Adler Agency, will be doing a Facebook Live Benefit Concert for OLTL.
This is what One Life to Love is all about- individuals leveraging their talents, networks & careers in order to bring help and hope to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
Mary hosts a birthday benefit concert every year for OLTL and this year, for her 15th birthday, Mary isn’t letting COVID-19 stop her from this annual tradition. Instead, she is taking it online through #FacebookLIVEstream & #instagramLIVE.
Hear about Mary’s experiences volunteering with OLTL and be sure to mark your calendars for May 5th 8pm EST: . “One memory that really stands out to me happened during my first visit to OL2L. [My school] arranged a Skype call between myself in India with the kids at OLTL and entire eighth-grade back in New Jersey. I knew that I wanted to ask the kids of OL2L to put together a show for the Skype call so I taught them ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, along with the sign language of the lyrics. The children were so excited to sing and dance—they all tried so hard to do the very best they could. Even though we do not speak the same language, we were able to communicate in a special way. Since that moment, I knew that the children and everyone else at One Life to Love were a part of my family.” . @mary_louisa_jodry
27 April 2020
I baked brownies today. She conserved rice.
My children are bored. Her’s are hungry.
I feel restless. She is terrified.
I say, “We are in this together,” a million times, but it never bridges the divergence of our lifestyles.
I will never know what it is like to be her. Because let’s face it- I bake brownies and she conserves rice.
I watch Netflix and she scours the streets looking for help, work, food.
I feel irritated because I can’t go out for a walk. She walked hundreds of miles to escape starvation.
I say it again: I will never know what it’s like to be her.
But I will stand with her, the best I can, offering her help and hope as she faces yet another injustice, yet another bad hand in this life.
Please, join me in standing with her. Help her feed her children. The link to donate is in our profile or you can go to our website www.onelife2love.org/donate Praying for your health and safety always, Courtney @courtneylalotra Founder & President
26 April 2020
Volunteers come often to work with our kids and every single time there’s a moment when they are leaving, we walk to the gate, and we thank each other. . For us, the gratitude comes from meeting amazing new people, seeing the immediate connection and love they are willing to share, and experiencing the glow on the kids faces that resonate through the following days. . For our visitors, it’s hard to say where the gratitude comes from. We’re always on the other side of the fence. We know they have every reason to go back to their lives and leave us as a distant thought but that’s never the case. We can’t explain their gratitude, but we can see it as it turns from a ripple to a wave. . They stay in contact and ask about the kids. We always find ourselves with new life-long friends and those friends astound us with their propensity to keep us in their elephant-sized hearts. . @Lisaapelts is one of those volunteers turned life-long friend. . Lisa is an incredible artist from Canada (currently living in Australia) who has taken on the #100dayproject2020. As part of that project she is creating a unique watercolor painting everyday (or collage in some cases) and doing a portrait in a different style using that days medium or style. . After visiting our home this past winter she has decided to donate the sale of each print during these hundred days to our cause of feeding those in need during the COVID-19 lockdown in India. . The ripple of our initial interaction is turning into a wave, and that wave is bringing change in the form of helping those in need. . If you want to support an incredible artist while feeding those struggling in India due to the COVID-19 lockdown please visit Lisa’s instagram (@Lisaapelts) or donate directly through our website.
25 April 2020
What is inside a Relief Pack?
Answer: wheat flour, cooking oil, rice, salt, spices, vegetables, lentils, sugar, soap, sanitary pads… …and a whole lot of HOPE.
By donating $12, you are providing a family with all they need to survive for an entire week while giving them hope to hold onto during these uncertain days.
Please consider donating through our website or social media to provide help and hope to migrant families.
24 April 2020
“The people who are asking us to practice social distancing should come and see how the five of us live in this 6×6 foot room,” Rajkumar says, as he stands outside his shanty home. He points about twenty feet away to a water tank next to a communal toilet. The toilet is basically a hole in the ground which, even in the time of a pandemic that requires utmost cleanliness, emits a foul odor. . The slum where Rajkumar lives is dotted with hundreds and hundreds of tin-roofed shanties, mostly one-room dwellings for families of four or more. . “It is so difficult for us to maintain hygiene; the taps run dry by evening,” he says with a look of resignation. . Rajkumar hasn’t earned a day’s wage since the lockdown was announced on March 24th and construction sites closed down. People living here don’t have savings; they live hand to mouth. . This particular slum sits in the midst of posh localities where people have plenty of room to spread out in their own homes. Rajkumar’s wife, Lakshmi works as a maid in one of those homes, but she hasn’t been able to go to work since the lockdown started, and the family she works for refuses to pay her for the time she has missed. . There is little the residents of this slum can do. They are powerless to isolate themselves, and have no way to provide for themselves. . “If not for these [OLTL relief packs], we would starve,” Lakshmi says with both frustration toward her situation and gratitude for the fact that she and her children will eat tonight. . Please help us as we continue to support families like these. Donate through our social media pages or website.
23 April 2020
This past week, One Life to Love provided relief packs to 1500 families. This means over 6,000 men, women and children will not go hungry. . We are committed to see these families through this crisis. The lockdown is set to end on May 4th, but there is no way to predict how this transition will affect any of us, especially migrant workers. We do know that our relief packs will be their sole source of sustenance for at least the next three weeks. . Many of you have sponsored a family this week, and for that I cannot thank you enough. But we are faced with the realization that in 7 days, these families will be in the same vulnerable position. That is why I am asking you, if you are financially able, to consider sponsoring a family to help them through the length of this crisis. That means doubling or even tripling your donation. . I understand that these are difficult times for everyone at different levels. So even if you cannot give a donation, would you give your time? You can forward our story to friends/family to ask their help; share on social media; connect us with people/companies/foundations that can help… Anything you can do to help will truly make a difference for families in need. . Please go to our website or social media to donate. Or you can email me directly to speak more about this crisis at hand: email@example.com . I look forward to continuing to share stories with you all here about the people whom you are directly affecting through your kindness and love. . Praying you all stay healthy and safe, Courtney, (Founder OLTL) .
*faces blurred in photo out of respect.
20 April 2020
19 April 2020
18 April 2020
Feelings of loneliness, social disconnection and depression are natural for every human being. But these emotions are only heightened by the current public health crisis.
Did you know that our Home was feeling a little ‘blue’ during the initial weeks of the pandemic? Our children and volunteers were going through the ups and downs (mostly downs) of social isolation. However, since we have started distributing relief packs to our neighbors in need, we have seen a shift in our collective emotional state.
Studies have shown that giving back helps facilitate a social connection, which helps alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression. When we give to others, we don’t only make them feel closer to us; we also feel closer to them.
It is obvious by their eagerness to pitch in that the children in our Home of Hope know and feel the emotional effects of giving back. In the second photo, Jai is holding a bag of flour.
“Our housemother went to the kitchen to get Jai’s milk. As soon as she walked away from him, I saw Jai start crawling toward the bag of flour,” said @yogeshlalotra.
“He was so eager to be part of the distribution. When he finally reached the bag of flour, he was so happy and motioned for us to take it from his hand.”
Let’s all be like Jai.
Let’s overcome social isolation through acts of service, however big or small…
You could donate to our COVID-19 relief services or another cause you believe in; you can call friends and family to encourage them; compliment a stranger; send an e-card; spread messages of hope…
anything done with service in mind and love in the heart will help build the social connectivity we so desperately need right now.
17 April 2020
*Yogesh Lalotra & Housemothers distributing relief packages to large crowds outside the Home of Hope
16 April 2020
*We did not have enough relief packs to meet the high demand. After distributing 200 relief packs, Yogesh Lalotra is taking orders for another distribution to take place tomorrow, 16 April 2020
15 April 2020
14 April 2020
Lines form outside of OLTL’s Home of Hope. These are migrant laborers who are without work or food. They are in desperate need of food and hygiene supplies. OLTL volunteers are distributing relief packs.