Frequently asked questions about our SMILE program

Q: How satisfied are the SMILE students with the money they get? And how satisfied are the sponsors about their money utilized?

The huge amount of testimonials from the students’ feedback every year proves the popularity. The general comments are that the students are only able to continue their studies because of the grant, and all students become very encouraged to pursue higher studies. On the sponsor side, the enthusiasm has been growing consistently as evidenced by the number of ever-increasing sponsorships.

Q: Don’t you think a SMILE high school student getting $220 ($440 for professional college) a year is still a little too high?

Our financial tracking lines up fairly well (after inclusion of options for contingency) with the budget that reflects country’s inflation rate. Moreover, any fund collected that remain unutilized goes for other Education initiatives as feasible.

Q: How is my monthly sponsorship contribution spent?

Lily Foundation awards Rs. 700/- to the high school student or Rs. 2000/- to the professional college student monthly for books, tuition, school uniforms, transportation and study materials, which is paid in quarterly installments, four times a year. The payment is by bank check. There is an annual conference of the scholarship recipients, for which the students are reimbursed for the travel with their guardians. The SMILE Scholarship administration activities include communication with the students, their mentors ( and on occasions with headmasters/teachers as needed), occasional meeting with the students by the Lily Area Representatives or the sponsors, distributing prizes for various accomplishments/ good book-reports and at times taking care of the students’ family healthcare costs through special grants. Besides, it’s a hard fact that every year some sponsors stop paying Lily the monthly/annual gifts for good reasons of their own, but Lily does not discontinue the awards to the students.

Q: Can I communicate with my sponsored student directly?

Yes, please call 817-294-5536.

Q: How do I communicate my thoughts & suggestions with Lily Foundation?

You may write anytime via the form on our Contact page or send a letter to SMILE Administrator, PO Box 59824, Dallas, TX 75229.

Q: How do I know the SMILE student’s progress?

Lily Foundation will send you the annual result, a summary statement of the student evaluation by the mentor (or a copy of the Mentor Evaluation Form) and any new testimonial of extra-curricular activities as available.

Q: How does Lily Foundation monitor the SMILE student’s progress?

Lily Foundation does the monitoring in three ways: A) By reviewing the annual progress report, B) By reviewing the annual student evaluation sent by his/her mentor and C) By reviewing book-reports written by the student twice a year.

Q: Can I choose the SMILE student I want to sponsor?

You can choose the State or the School, but not a student by name. You may, however, express your preference in any manner you want, but Lily Foundation, while trying to accommodate your preference, is the ultimate selecting authority.

Q: I want to help a student by sponsoring a scholarship. What are my options?

You can sponsor by paying $220 a year a High School student or a general college (Bachelor degree – Honors) student. For Professional College (Nursing, Engineering, Medical and other 3+ years) student you pay $440 a year. Use this website to sponsor or call/contact JP Sarkar at 817-294-5536 or myfriend@lilyfoundation.org.

Q: How Do I Apply for a SMILE Scholarship?

Our SMILE Scholarship is available to both high school and college students. Students may apply for the upcoming school-year downloading a form from this website. You may also procure a form from our India office in Kolkata.

Q: How do I track the progress of my sponsored center/project?

Ans. We send you annual report with names of teachers, students, results and pictures, along with a brief status narrative. If you have any questions, call J. P. Sarkar at 817-294-5536.

Q: What is a Bookbank?

Bookbanks are libraries where students can borrow textbooks and other helping books on a long term basis. Often it is for the full academic session the students get their text books.

Q: How Can I Help?

You can make a significant impact on our efforts by becoming a member or making a monetary donation. The areas where your volunteer efforts are welcome are in the organization of fundraising events, web design and maintenance, newsletter design and distribution, mailing and (in India) teaching & inspection. If you have kitchen skill, you may join us at homeless feeding as well.

Q: What is Lily Foundation?

We are a non-religious, non-political, non-profit charitable organization dedicated towards breaking the poverty cycle via education, healthcare & humanitarian support. The Lily Foundation of America is an 501(c)(3) Tax-exempt Organization.