Ride for a gift to Turkey.

Ride for a Gift to Turkey

Grab your bikes, wear your most colorful shirt, bring along your friends and meet us at Central Park because we are riding for Turkey!

We have many reasons to ride. To cherish our generous supporters. To empower our communities. To make a difference in Turkey. Color Ride will depart at Central Park and take participants on a 12 mile ride along the West Side Greenway through Manhattan.The group will ride en masse in a slow pace. Color Ride will finish at Little Rascal in Noho for a delicious Turkish brunch.

TPF’s Color Ride allows you to make a long term social investment in Turkey while experiencing the Manhattan skyline and West Side Greenway at its best on a Sunday morning.

Register now for Color Ride here.

If you’d like to take your commitment to a step further, please start your fundraiser to raise additional funds through Color Ride.

All donations from your fundraiser will be matched 100% doubling yourimpact.

WHENSunday, May 22, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM (EDT) – Add to Calendar

WHERE: Central Park West – 15 W 77th Street, New York, NY 10019 – View Map

We look forward to riding with you! Join us now.

Mother Queen, Sabuş.

Annem ve Erman (1)A Colorful Story By Ender Ağırnaslı
This is the story of a woman who taught me everything I know: My mother, Sabahat Buruloğlu, or Sabuş as we called her. She lived by three core values throughout her life: hard-work, gratitude, and dedication. Her motto was “Work hard. Cherish life. And, always move onward and upward.” Her ideals resonated not only with me but with everyone around me. She was one of those incredible people who were not defined by an age and could be friends with a young child or an elderly person easily. She was the best confidant to my friends as she talked to them over her right-out-of-the-oven delicious cookies. She was the inspiration as she shared her life story with my son’s friends. She was the backbone of our family as she comforted us through difficult times. Everyone around her was nourished by her contagious joy and wisdom. Sadly, she passed away in 2013 at the age of 86. As we remembered her with a bittersweet smile on our faces, we realized that we wanted to do more than simply re-living our memories. We wanted her legacy to live forever and to touch lives just like she touched ours. That is when TPF came into the picture. TPF provided us with a platform to establish a scholarship fund in our “Mother Queen’s” memory.Born in 1927, my mother was the first generation of women who went to college after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. As a child who grew up in Ataturk’s era, she adopted his visionary principles including right to secular education and equal rights to women. Most importantly, she was a true believer in continuous progressive change. I remember looking at the telephone directory for attorneys at home when I was a little girl and feeling proud. It was a really thin book since there were only a few hundred lawyers in Turkey at the time. Only a dozen of them were women and my mother was one of them. She studied law to implement and defend the progressive ideas of the new Turkish Republic in the judicial system. She specialized in juvenile law as she cared deeply about the protection and well-being of children. It was inevitable that she took on the role of a mother in the courtroom as she worked tirelessly to make a positive impact in the lives of Turkish children.

My mother has always been my biggest support. She even made the move to the US with my father after I have decided to relocate to New Jersey with my husband, Murat, as we struggled to create a simple life for ourselves in the tense political climate of Turkey in late 1970s. My mother adapted fairly well to her new life in the US. Soon after they moved to New Jersey, she was being called ‘grandma’ by all of our neighbors. It was her kindness and caring for children, which gave her this title. Years passed as we celebrated her birthdays. She showed no signs of old age at all. She kept reading two to three books a week, sent text messages from her smart phone, read newspapers online, and even took Erman to the Knicks games. It was when she passed away that we realized she was living way beyond her age.

My mother always told us how lucky she was to go to college as a woman. All her life, she reminded us of the importance of education, and how every girl deserves a chance to receive an education to excel in life, just as she had. Her dream was to financially support female law students someday. As she focused on defending equal rights in the courtroom, she never had the time to focus on her commitment to equal education for girls. As we miss her deeply, it was my husband, Murat, who came up with an amazing idea to bring the memory of our Mother Queen back to life. Murat admired my mother’s huge heart and immense intellect, and continues to do so. He might be one of the very few people who has a photo of his mother-in- law on his office desk. His idea was perfect: We were going to establish a scholarship fund in her name and support female law students.

Once Murat encouraged us to roll up our sleeves to turn her dream into a reality with a scholarship fund, we knew where to go. TPF enabled us to establish an endowed scholarship fund in her name: Sabuş Education Memorial Fund. Since 2014, we are supporting female law students at her alma mater, Istanbul University Law School through Community Volunteers Foundation (TOG). I know my mother, being herself, is smiling with delight looking over us. The scholarship we established and the students we’re supporting are exactly what she would have wanted us to do in her name and honor. This fund is only the beginning to share with the world how much she continues to mean to our family.

Making A Difference One Pencil at a Time

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Many students need books to inspire their interest and understanding of the subjects they study. Classroom supplies are always crucial for students to have a positive experience to help encourage their continued excitement to learn. However, some schools lack these very basic needs in the classroom. That is what BirSilgiBirKalem.org was created for. They enable people to fund school projects posted by teachers. Requests range from pencils and paper at an elementary school in the small town of Bilecik to classic children books for a class in Kars learning about world literature.

BirSilgiBirKalem.org was launched in 2011. During the early years, the initial team was fueled with aspiration and almost constant excitement. They were anxious about reaching their goals and finding donors who would respond to the needs of the schools. Then, they got official support from the Ministry of Education and have secured important sponsorships. In no time, the donors started to respond to needs.

From pencils to printers, teachers list their classroom needs at BirSilgiBirKalem.org. You can either make your purchase online and the organization takes care of the shipment; or you can buy your gifts and ship them directly. Either way, when your gift reaches its destination, the teacher posts a photo of the students with a thank you letter. This way, you know where your contribution goes exactly and have a chance to see the impact you made.

When BirSilgiBirKalem was first established, they thought that tech devices such as computers and projectors would be the most demanded materials by schools. However, they soon realized that the need for more basic necessities such as books, world maps and notebooks is bigger. The organization raised 848,719 TL, helped more than 2,547 schools, and funded over 2,134 projects that have aided the education of more than 85,360 students in just five years. The program has an audacious vision: to harness the power of the people to create change. “We want to use our site to galvanize people to give,” they say, “but also to take important steps towards real change in addressing educational needs.”

At TPF, every chance we get we leaf through the carefully lettered, colorfully illustrated thank-you notes and pictures from students that we receive from BirSilgiBirKalem. The notes and pictures express unbridled enthusiasm and gratitude to the people who’ve made these projects come to life. To us, they are like sunbeams, lighting up the darkness one pencil at a time. Take a look at BirSilgiBirKalem’s page and the heartwarming photos of the students.

An Education in Equality

AR1_2948 (1)We received a call from a donor about two years ago. He said “Everyone should have the same opportunities in life.” He continued “In Turkey, there are still segments of the population that don’t reach the same level of education as the rest. I want to make a difference in my life time so this won’t remain an eternal struggle.” This was music to our ears. We also believed that no one should be discriminated against because of social background, gender, or financial standing. However, the real world seldom lives up to those ideals. Especially equality in education still remains an issue in Turkey.  Our donor was an educator and wanted to support college students with financial struggles. He told us about his challenge of finding the right institution. Yet, after a detailed research he believed with its mission of providing “equality in education” Darüşşafaka Society came out as the right organization.

We agreed. Darüşşafaka Society represents what equality in education is in Turkey. Founded in 1863 Darüşşafaka creates a better future for bright and talented children who have lost one of their parents and have limited financial resources. At the age of ten when these children enter into this new world of opportunities, they are not aware that they will have access to quality education at international standards. However, Darüşşafaka Society’s reach was limited with secondary education. Yet, it wasn’t long till our donor was able to convince the board of Darüşşafaka Society with his vision, and “Equal Opportunities in Higher Education” Fund was established at Darüşşafaka through TPF. With this Fund Darüşşafaka is now taking its promises in “equality in education” one step further and providing scholarships to college students. In Turkey access to education exists however, financially less advantaged students, most of the time end up not taking advantage of the opportunity. Darüşşafaka is here to change that. And, it’s doing it with the support of generous and visionary philanthropists.

Darüşşafaka Society was established by a handful of intellectuals who started to share their knowledge in subjects such as mathematics and literature to train young craftsman of the Grand Bazar. Since then, the school building evolved, student profile changed from craftsman to orphans and extra curriculum activities offered increased. One major characteristic that distinguished Darüşşafaka from other schools remained the same: providing equal opportunities in education. Today, students from all around Turkey are admitted with an exam to Darüşşafaka. Their journey starts in 5th grade and continues until they graduate from high school. The curriculum is in English while students also learn French or German as a second language. They spend weekends doing sports and attending cultural activities. They are encouraged to be creative and discover their talents. They are taught to dream big. Not surprisingly, Darüşşafaka graduates continue their education at the best colleges in Turkey and around the Globe, and become successful professionals later on in their lives.

The newly established “Equal Opportunities in Higher Education” Fund is open to all college students with good academic standing and limited financial means who have lost one of their parents. Any student regardless of the major or school is eligible to apply. Scholarship recipients are supported through graduation. Currently, eight students benefit from this opportunity. They are studying Western Languages and Literature at Bosporus University with dreams of being an academician. They have goals of becoming a neurosurgeon after graduating from Istanbul University Medical School. And, with this new opportunity now they have one less challenge in front of them. This fund is the great leveler that enables anyone who works hard to succeed, regardless of income level.

Our donor understands that this scholarship fund is only the beginning. The work continues for all those involved in making sure education remains a tool for greater opportunity and success. If you also believe in creating equal opportunities for disadvantaged children, take a look at Darüşşafaka’s page and become a part of the family.