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Raindrop Foundation
Phone: (713) 974 1412
9301 W. Bellfort Ave.
Houston, TX 77031

Raindrop Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3), educational, charitable, social and cultural organization founded by Turkish-Americans in Houston in 2000. It now operates in six states: Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and New Mexico.

The Raindrop Foundation aims to cultivate friendship and promote understanding of diverse cultures through its unique services to the community. We strive to establish bridges between the Turkish and American cultures and communities by providing easily accessible educational, social, and cultural services. Services are provided with the intention of contributing to global peace at the grassroots level by sharing Turkey’s heritage of tolerance and understanding. Below are various services the Raindrop Foundation (RDF) provides:

Educational Services:

In the academic area, RDF contributes to an increasingly rich and multicultural American education in following ways:

  1. Aiding schools (including universities, community colleges, and secondary schools) in establishing Turkish language programs. RDF sponsors “for credit” Turkish courses at the University of Houston and the University of Texas at Austin. RDF provides support to schools ranging from finding qualified instructors to furnishing schools with materials.
  2. RDF aims to help establish study abroad programs in Turkey. As a benefit of its location, Turkey offers a rich history and culture to its visitors. Based on schools’ goals, RDF can provide assistance in accommodation, food, transportation and contact with local families, schools and other institutions. In April of 2012, RDF sponsored a Study Turkey program at Austin high school in which eighty-two seniors were a part of a ten-day trip that included visits to historical, cultural and religious sites, educational institutions as well as visits with local families. Students prepared short documentaries on different aspects of the country.
  3. RDF welcomes field trips to its 17 branches, where students can experience presentations about Turkey’s history and culture. Visitors will have the opportunity to taste samples from Turkish cuisine. This is an educational and fun field trip opportunity for schools.

 

 

 

Cultural Services:

1.     Cuisine classes: Introducing culinary culture developed from the era of the Ottoman Empire.

a.     RDF offfers cuisine classes within its branches. These classes are open to community members of all ages and are great to take as a family or with friends

b.     With its experience in cuisine classes and experienced instructors, RDF can also provide culinary courses or after school cuisine programs at schools.

2.     Art classes: RDF can introduce traditional Turkish and Ottoman arts such as Ebru. Ebru is the name of Ottoman water marbling art, which is based on transfering artisitic designs created on water to paper, giving it a magical sense.

3.     Turkish cultural festivals: Every year each Raindrop branch organizes a traditonal Turkish Cultures Festival where a kaleidoscope of varying people from the Turkish world is showcased.  Not only an educational adventure for those in attendance and involved, the Turkish Cultures Festival is an entertaining event that joins together international communities. The event includes performances from the famous Ottoman Army Band, music groups, and folk dances as well as handcrafts, calligraphy and of course delicious world renown Turkish cuisine. RDF calues collaberation with the universities and K-12 schools to feature activities that contribute to the diverse culture of America.

4.     International Festival of Language and Culture: One of the main events that Raindrop Foundation organizes is the annual International Festival of Language and Culture in Southwest America. It is an annual celebration and showcase for the diversity of linguistic talents from across the world. It is dedicated to cultivate and educate the youth and create a platform to share their cultural heritage with their peers around the world. It is our mission to rise on the wings of art and music and promote peace, love, and cultural encounters through the world. Our vision is uniting nations of the world with universal human values. The parent organization International Festival of Language and Culture is the largest and most prominent organization for promoting world languages and cultures. Raindrop Foundation organizes the Annual International Festival of Language and Culture in Houston Texas every year. RDF values language learning and organizes this event to motivate youth to learn a second language. We are trying to promote research, learning, and information exchanges in support of peace, friendship, and understanding.

4.     Intercultural dialog dinners: A main goal of each RDF branch is to establish good relations with their neighbors. One of the events serving this goal is the Friendship and Engagement Dinner where RDF branches gather with their neighbors and community members for a friendly dinner at the centers. We enjoy food and conversation, strengthen friendships and form a culture of “living together”. At these dinner meetings

We also recognize the contributions of different personnel, institutions and organizations (e.g. fire department, police department, city members, museums, libraries, educators).

Aid Efforts

Raindrop also helps those in need through its charity organization called “Helping Hands.” The purpose of Helping Hands is to assist, with all forms of aid within our means, people such as the homeless, destitute, widowers, patients, orphans, veterans, and those affected by catastrophes such as earthquakes, floods, fires, etc. Helping Hands also aims to develop and strengthen social responsibility, solidarity, aid and consciousness and contribute to improvement of the socioeconomic level of society. RDF will be happy to run projects in collaboration with schools.

RDF Helping Hands also organizes health fair in Houston. Families receive free immunizations and health screenings at the fair. The fair provides free diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol tests, along with free dental screenings.

Intercultural Trips to Turkey

RDF organizes and sponsors Intercultural Trips to Turkey every year. Our tours don’t just take participants to museums and natural sites, they help them feel Turkey: palace-museums and housing relics dating back more than a millennium, bustling markets where vendors and buyers have haggled for hundreds of years, artisans who practice crafts passed down for generations. Moreover, we invite them to dine on tables set on sidewalks overlooking the evening traffic of Anatolian cities and we welcome all to our friends’ homes to share meals.

Family workshops

At Raindrop family workshops we include a variety of activities for different interests so that children, teenagers and adults can come together and enjoy sports, reading, delicious meals, and more.

Additional Services

Raindrop contributes to a colorful society by organizing, sponsoring and hosting cultural and social events such as Nevruz picnics, traditional dinners, Turkish coffee nights, International Women’s day, soccer games, Noah’s pudding days, art exhibits Whirling Dervishes’ performances-- all to establish and enhance friendship ties with our neighbors and local communities and form a culture of “living together”.

Raindrop Foundation ties together the vision, values, and cooperative spirit of the different communities in the southwestern states. RDF is committed to strengthening the bridge that connects the Turkish and American cultures. We invite you to connect with us and view current and past events at www.turkishhouse.org, or join us at one of our locations as we work toward achieving a common goal.