Volunteer Square loves to recognize exceptional individuals that donate their time and energy to nonprofit organizations across Connecticut. These volunteers make a true impact in the lives of others. We are thrilled to share all the wonderful stories here and on our website. If you would like nominate a volunteer, please fill out this Nomination Form.
This week our recognition is a little different than the past few weeks. We are spotlighting Sattie Persaud, Founder of World Heritage Cultural Center. Nominated by WHCC Board Member Anindita Nanda, Sattie is being recognized for both her personal volunteer work and the work she does with the organization she founded. We are thrilled to honor Sattie and hope you are inspired by reading her story. Congratulations, Sattie for the exceptional example you set with your work everyday!
Here is what Anindita had to say about Sattie:
Sattie Persaud, founder of nonprofit World Heritage Cultural Center, went above and beyond during the last few months, supporting 3 large deliveries of perishable and none perishable items and 200 cases of water to Danbury Hospital, Stamford Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center. Some funds were raise through coworkers, but 80% out of Ms Persaud's pocket. Instead of spending her money for personal use, she used to help hundreds of medical workers in the 3 hospitals. Now Ms. Persaud is working on creating and distributing 10,000 cotton masks locally. She will be funding this project with her own money as well. She feels she is in a position to help and during this difficult time she doesn't want to ask people who are potentially losing their jobs for donations.
Interview with Sattie Persuad
Would you start by telling us a little bit about World Heritage Cultural Center?
I founded World Heritage Cultural Center (WHCC), which got its nonprofit status in 2009. Our mission at WHCC is to change society in a way where people can contribute to what matters most, Humanity. We have created a platform, a common ground, where any culture in the world can come and celebrate their way of life through the Arts & Food, while making a positive impact through knowledge & charity. The hope is that when people learn about different cultural customs and values, respect will follow.
In June, 2009, we had our first World of Colors concerts with 23 countries on stage in Westchester NY, promoting cultural awareness through music and dance. The event was broadcasted in 160 countries, including cultural media in the US. A couple of weeks later, the largest Travel Show in the US by John and Julie Golicz invited us to produce their Global Beats Stage at the Javitz Center in NYC. Following that show, we were invited by the Times Square Alliance to produce the largest cultural show of its kind in the Taste of Times Square. It was such a success, people were climbing on trees and fire escape ladders to watch our performances. We continued with the Travel Shows and 12 years later, we work with over 800 plus cultural groups annually and have completed 245 of the largest cultural concerts across the US in fifteen states.
All groups donate their time on our platform to be part of our noble mission of making a positive impact through knowledge and charity. There are no large grants or donations that we have channeled into the network we have built so far. I wanted something tangible, so that people know where their funds are going if they donated, like opening our first World Heritage Cultural Center in NY. We were going to launch our capital campaign in Spring of 2020, but we due to the pandemic, we pushed everything to 2022. I believe everything happens on its own time.
What made you start volunteering and donating supplies to the hospitals and health care workers?
Our organization has limited funds, but we wanted to help where it's most needed and all I could think of were the front liners, especially medical workers. Many have left their homes and families behind to help save lives. They are the superheroes during this pandemic. A friend connected me to someone at Columbia Medical Center and then I called Danbury and Stamford Hospitals. I talked with wonderful people at the hospitals that gave us a list of their most important needs and we purchased off those lists. I got help from co-workers, but also used money from a bonus I got at work to make 3 large purchases for the hospitals of perishable and nonperishable items. I couldn't reach out to people who are losing jobs, furloughed, as such to ask for money, so took it out of my own pocket and was happy I was able to. We are currently working on getting masks out to those who need it.
Have you participated in other volunteer work before?
I have been volunteering even before I started my own nonprofit, right out of college. In our nonprofit we don't reinvent the wheel, we join forces on many different subjects with other nonprofits to make a bigger more positive impact. (you can read an article just published on my work here, - http://www.formidablewomanmag.com/meet-the-woman-behind-the-world-heritage-cultural-center/)
How do you encourage others to get involved?
I believe the most important thing to get people involved in volunteer work is to have a noble mission, to be able to give everyone a voice so that what they do actually matters and makes a difference. We have a very clear vision, any fundraising we do has clear tangible results, so people feel secure when they donate funds it goes to a right and just cause and not a bucket where people don't see what their monetary funds are being used for. If people are donating other resources, we use the same principals, whether it's time or products.
Is there anything else you would like people to know about you and/or your organization?
There is nothing more powerful than telling great stories through the Arts, and we have had 245 of the largest cultural gatherings of its size in the US across 15 states, including relationships with over 800 plus cultural groups globally. World Heritage Cultural Center has the answer to many problems communities face due to the lack of productive solutions for members of any age, who can get involved in the arts and reach the world through the bridge WHCC has built, which could be a high impact deterrent for substance abuse among other negative impacts communities face. Our center and chapters will have teachers, who are luminaries of their fields, teaching everything from performing, culinary and visual arts from around the world. Wherever the WHCC lands, anywhere in the US, we will make that city a global destination.