OfERR has grown from being an organization run by refugees and for refugees, to one that takes pride in also giving back to the Indian government and citizens who benevolently provided asylum to Sri Lankan Tamils over the years. When the 2004 tsunami battered coastal areas of Tamil Nadu killing thousands, destroying millions of livelihoods and rendering entire communities homeless, refugee volunteers from OfERR rushed to the rescue of Indian citizens by collecting and distributing emergency relief supplies, conducting medical camps and providing first aid, launching education centers for underprivileged students and imparting skills training to breadwinners who lost their source of income. Volunteers also leveraged their own experience with trauma and displacement to provide counseling to victims of the disaster and liaised with government bodies to retrieve crucial documents that were lost in the tragedy. In the years that followed, OfERR helped countless tsunami affected Indians in their quest to return to normalcy.
During the 2015 floods in Tamil Nadu that saw widespread destruction to human life and property, OfERR volunteers once again joined forces to ensure that flood victims in remote areas received life-saving supplies in time, and continues to work with these families through the long-term rehabilitation initiative titled ‘Makkalukaga Naam’ (Here to Serve the People of India) as a mark of gratitude and respect for the Indian government and people. Through a partnership with Toms Shoes, California, OfERR has also distributed nearly half a million formal school shoes free of cost to Indian children from slums, orphanages, tribal areas, public schools and flood-affected areas.