Atlanta resident Katrell Christie is smiling big time after her charity, The Learning Tea, was featured on CNN. On Aug. 27, the network updated viewers and said donations have poured in since the initial airing. “I was very unprepared for it,” Katrell stated excitedly. However, she is extremely happy and overwhelmed with the public’s positive response and generosity.
In 2009, Katie traveled to India on a rotary funded project to help women in the small village of Hyderbad. Along the way, she personally witnessed the devastating poverty that many young women face. She vowed to help assist a small orphanage in the Darjeeling region of India with much needed uniforms, school supplies, and shoes for its young scholars. The Learning Tea was born in 2010, when Katrell fully committed herself to funding the university educations of three orphaned girls in Darjeeling.
Since founding The Learning Tea, its Atlanta-based founder has never looked back. In just four years, the organization has accepted 11 young women - all honors students in their respective grades - into its center. Since 2010, over 30 volunteers have traveled to India to help the girls and perform routine maintenance and repair work on its living facility.
According to Katrell Christie, the donations from generous supporters have helped The Learning Tea establish and maintain a modern housing unit in Darjeeling that includes a water-filtration system, a renovated bathroom, space to accommodate 11 girls, and a bottom level with room to accommodate 10 more after improvements. The organization not only provides for the scholars’ housing, tuition, food, clothing, medical benefits, and other life necessities, but also music lessons, tutoring, computer classes, and other extracurricular activities through the proceeds of Darjeeling tea sales, used book purchases, and monthly dinners at Dr. Bombay’s in Atlanta.
Several days ago, CNN shined its spotlight on Katrell Christie and The Learning Tea. On Tuesday, the network reported that donations have flooded in. After the feature story ran, Katrell received more than 400 emails in the first hour alone. Plus, she sold more tea in four days than she did in four years. Owners of Chai Pani Indian Restaurant in Atlanta saw the story on CNN and decided to send one employee to India per year to lend hands-on support to The Learning Tea’s efforts.
There are a myriad of ways to help Katrell, The Learning Tea and its on-going education efforts in India. Below are six great opportunities to help.
- Purchase tea: The profits help steer girls towards a brighter future. Each 3.5 ounce bag of loose tea yields about 50 servings and costs just $12. Green and black Darjeeling varities are available. Click here to make a purchase.
- Sponsor a girl’s scholarship: Civic and church groups, business organizations and more are welcome to sponsor a scholarship. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
- Care packages to India: School groups and scout troops are welcome to take part in putting together care packages for the students.
- Restaurants and stores: If you’re an owner and would like to sell tea from The Learning Tea, send a quick email to email@example.com.
- Donate used books: They will be sold in the Candler Park shop and all money earned goes directly to The Learning Tea.
- Make a monetary donation: Donations are currently accepted on Pay Pal.
To learn more about The Learning Tea in Atlanta, check out these articles from the Huffington Post, Fox News and the Christian Science Monitor. You can also head to The Learning Tea website to read more about its mission and great work. Be sure to check out the video (above and to the left) to see the good works of The Learning Tea in action.
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