Namaste!

Thank you for your interest in Rising Star Outreach. We hope you enjoyed exploring our website and learning more about our efforts in India to empower people affected by leprosy to rise above stigma, poverty, and physical limitations. 

You can get involved and stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter, interacting with us on Facebook and Instagram, or by messaging us via the contact form below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Leprosy still exists? I thought it was an ancient disease!

Leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) is still around, but we are hoping to change that. India accounts for about 60% of the world’s new leprosy cases and this is where our work is focused. Leprosy is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae and is curable through a Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) which was developed in1984. Leprosy attacks the nervous system and typically affects the eyes, limbs, and skin. When left untreated this disease often escalates to blindness, mobility loss, non-healing ulcers, and wounds that lead to amputation. While the damage that occurs before treatment is irreversible, early-on discovery and treatment of leprosy can halt the progress of the bacteria with little to no damage. This is why it is important to catch the disease early in its onset. Even with MDT, it is hard to stay ahead of leprosy due to reduced access to healthcare in many areas of the world.  Fortunately, a new preventative vaccination for leprosy has recently been developed and approved by the Indian Health Board and the FDA.  The potential to eradicate this disease that has been a scourge to millions of people for thousands of years is now here!  We can eradicate leprosy and Rising Star Outreach is working to do just that. Read more about leprosy, its effects and treatment here on our “Understanding Leprosy” page.

How can I update my credit card as a recurring donor?

You can update your card through your donor account. Log into the account and click on the button (bottom left of the page) that says update payment information. If you need help with your password, email kristen@risingstaroutreach.org.

Having trouble with your account? We can help you update your card. Call us at 801-820-0466.

Can I Volunteer Abroad?

Not yet. Due to visa restrictions our full volunteer program in India is on pause. As this changes, we will update our website and social media channels with the good news. In the meantime, there are still lots of ways you can get involved, such as hosting a fundraiser, becoming a student sponsor, or by sharing about Rising Star Outreach with your friends and family on social media. Also, did you know that our sponsors can do video calls with their sponsored student in India? These are great opportunities for students to practice their English and to make valued connections. There are many creative ways you can connect and make a difference with RSO and with India from home.

What is the best way to support Rising Star Outreach?

The best way to help Rising Star Outreach continue serving the leprosy affected in India is by hosting a fundraiser or becoming a monthly donor to our general fund. General funds are carefully distributed to where they are needed most so you can be sure your funds are helping in the most important ways. When it comes to supporting Rising Star Outreach, the possibilities are endless. By generously sharing your time, talents, and resources you are contributing to the eradication of the devastating effects of leprosy and stigma throughout India in a way that only you can. Head over to our “Get Involved” page to brainstorm ideas on how you can be a part of lifting the leprosy affected.

I want to do a group service project for Rising Star. Can we donate specific items?

We love that you want to help! Because we do not have groups going to India right now, it makes it hard to get items there from our office. However, there are still lots of things that you can donate or do to help with your group.

For one, you can organize a drive for items from our Amazon India Wishlists, which will go straight to our campuses in India:

Tamil Nadu Wishlist

Bihar Wishlist

There are also some great ideas for ways to get involved on our website. Click here for more information. We also recognize that each of our supporters – you – have different talents, networks, and creative ways to help. We’d love for you to use those! If you have anything specific you’d like to discuss, please reach out to tawnafowler@risingstaroutreach.org .

Are donations to RSO tax deductible?

Rising Star Outreach is a 501(c)3 organization and as such, all donations made to RSO are eligible for a tax deduction. As with any tax deduction, your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Will I get a tax letter for my donation?

Rising Star Outreach sends end-of-year tax letters for cumulative donations of $250 or more. These will be mailed
no later than January 31st. If you did not receive your tax letter or would like to update your mailing address, please contact our Finance Manager at aconklin@risingstaroutreach.org

How much of my donations go to help those with leprosy?

100% of your donation goes towards helping those with leprosy, either directly or indirectly. Some administrative costs are necessary to fulfill that mission and carry out the work. Much of that is covered by donations and fees paid by our generous board members. We take careful stewardship of the gracious funds given us and use them wisely to carry this mission forward. 

Who oversees the organization to make sure that funds are appropriately spent?

Rising Star Outreach has a sophisticated network of governance and oversight spanning both continents of the United States and India. The board of directors in the US is strong with thirty-two active members and six committees, each dedicated to the fiduciary integrity and mission of Rising Star Outreach. We also receive support and protection from a board of directors in India, equally dedicated and generously lending their time, resources, and talents.
 

Brett Caywood, President of Rising Star Outreach leads the organization in the U.S. and the National Leadership Team in India.  Our staff in the United States and in India have been carefully chosen and work together with unified goals and objectives. Learn more about each of their qualities and experience by checking out their bios here on our staff & management page.

Frequently Asked Sponsorship Questions

How can I contact the student I sponsor?

Our rising stars love to hear from their sponsors! You can email notes and pictures to us, and we will forward that to your student. If your student attends school on our Peery Matriculation Campus in Tamil Nadu, send your email to: kids@risingstaroutreach.org.

If your student attends school at our Little Flower campus in Bihar, email Biharkids@risingstaroutreach.org.

If you don’t know where your student attends, you can check your sponsorship portal or email hellosponsor@risingstaroutreach.org.

Can I send a gift to the student I sponsor?

We love that you want to celebrate your student’s birthday or send them a gift simply to let them know you care! While we are no longer accepting personalized gifts, you can still donate to our Celebration Fund for a student’s birthday! This fund provides your Rising Star with a gift from our birthday box and a treat for them to share with their classmates. Please note that we have two celebration funds for our two school locations: the Tamil Nadu Celebration Fund and the Bihar Celebration Fund.

The best way to send a card or letter to your student is digitally. You can email kristen@risingstaroutreach.org with your email and photos. You can send letters to our Provo office and we will do our best to get those letters to India but it will usually take a few months.

How can I update the credit card I have on file?

You can update your card through your sponsor account. Log into the account and click on the button (bottom left of the page) that says update payment information. If you need help with your password, email kristen@risingstaroutreach.org.

Having trouble with your account? We can help you update your card. Call us at 801-820-0466.

Get in Touch. Get Involved.

For Sponsor To A Rising Star questions, please contact:

Kristen Edwards, STARS Manager, at kristen@risingstaroutreach.org

For questions regarding corporate donations, stock transfers, community events, or collaborations, please contact:

Tawna Fowler, Development Director at tawnafowler@risingstaroutreach.org

For all other inquiries please message us below or send your email to hello@risingstaroutreach.org

Call Us: (801) 820-0466

3355 N. University Ave #200A PROVO, UT 84604