Volunteers Handbook for Indian Chai Tea
Be part of the Life Light India Story…
What is an Indian Chai Tea Party?
An Indian Chai Tea Party is a friend-raising event to invite your family and friends to, where you share about India and in particular Life Light Ministry. It is a small gathering of family and friends, who care about you (Host) and your passion about missions in India.
Whom to invite?
Since this is a friend-raising event, you are welcome to invite your friends, family and church members. You’re encouraged to have a minimum of 15-20 people attending your gathering. It is helpful to invite people that are already aware of (and supportive of efforts to address) global issues of poverty, children and evangelism. If they’ve been involved with a mission trip or other volunteer work, even better!
Since many donors and volunteers are involved in multiple organizations, please do not hesitate to invite your friends, even if they are already involved with one (or more) organizations. Your best prospects to attend are always those whom you know personally and who trust you and care for you.
How to invite them?
If you are like me, you will be a little intimated about inviting people. Please know that people like to be invited, they feel special about themselves (and they will sometimes be offended if they are not invited!). You are inviting them not necessarily to make a donation, but to inform them about the Lord’s work in India. It is totally up to them (and the Lord) if they do decide to give their talent, time or treasure.
As we know, people often need to be reminded in creative ways at least five times. As an example, you can invite them personally if you see them. On the second time, send them a creative invitation card. You then could email them and ask that they RSVP. Then make a personal phone call to ask if they are still coming. It is not being aggressive, but this is how we work in our culture.
About the Indian Chai Tea Experience
An Indian Chai Tea experience is an introduction to Indian culture, traditional food and people. For the best guest experience, try to find a way to engage all five senses (taste, sound, smell, touch, sight). You may need volunteers to help your guests find your house, Sunday school room or function. Indian culture is an exotic culture. Americans love the smell and taste of Indian food and the colors of Indian clothing.
Indian music is great, but some people may not like it. I advise that you start with popular praise music or smoothing instrumental music as background (and then switch to Indian music, if available, later in the event). Invitees should be introduced to all of this step by step. Feel free to wear an Indian outfit and decorate your place with Indian artifacts if you have them. Pictures and PowerPoint slides running on a computer or TV Screen will help to create good ambiance.
The Main Event
We are inviting you to have fun and fellowship, and to inform your guests about your trip to India and about your support of Life Light India Missions. This is a low-key fundraiser. Through your event, you are informing them, inspiring them and asking them to commit if they feel called to do so.
Ask someone to welcome guests while wearing an Indian costume (if available). Since this is an informal event, your guests can come and sit wherever they like. As a host, make sure that everyone feels welcome. Indian Chai is a simple beverage that you can make at your home (recipe attached). It is a mixture of milk, water and tea dust that is served in coffee mugs.
While optional, a nice addition to your event would be to serve Indian Samosa. It is made of a potato filling with Indian spices that is then fried. I do advise that you order it from a nearby restaurant rather than trying to make it yourself. Make sure to ask for medium or low spice. One or a maximum of two dishes should be plenty. Tea can be served along with or after the Samosa. It is a pleasant combination of sweet and savory.
After the food, the main event begins.
After handing out the information cards (and letting your guests know that you’ll be asking them to pull them out at the end of your presentation), take about 15-20 minutes to share about your recent trip to India. Share about 2-3 moments that you found impactful and the role that Life Light played during those moments. People always like personal stories. They have come because you have invited them. During this presentation you are giving them a tour of India and sharing a taste of what you experienced.
Next, you’ll want to share the Life Light video or the provided PowerPoint presentation. This will evoke questions, so be ready to answer them (or refer them to the Life Light office if you’re unsure of the answer). Do not hesitate to share about good things and struggles that you had during your trip. Share about your friends, those whom you met in India.
Finally, you’ll ask them to consider supporting Life Light Ministries. Ask them to pull out the information card and walk them through filling it out (make sure you have enough pens on hand for everyone).
If time permits, you might put henna tattoo on women’s hands or share the chai recipe. You could also teach your guests how to wear a sari, Indian dance moves, Indian music or songs. How to say ‘Hello’ in the Indian language is always a hit.
What to Not Forget
Please make sure that you ASK them for help. Give them enough time to process the event and make a decision. Personally give them information cards, so they can write their own information. This will have lines for their name, address, email and options for how they would like to help with the cause. Conclude the event by praying for various issues in India. Prayers for Life Light Ministries are much appreciated at this time (and any time for that matter).
Make sure to thank your guests for coming. Write them an email to thank them for their time and invite any questions they may have. If they have signed up for updates, forward their contact information to the Life Light office. Keep them in the loop as you see them next and talk with them.
- Time commitment for hosting event — 10 hrs
- Financial investment — $60 dollars
- Volunteers you may need — 2 or less.
- Life Light will provide brochures and other stationary.