October 4, 2011
Sewa International celebrated Sewa Day on sep 24th in Colorado. Sewa volunteers helped clean the Sanatan Mandir temple in Brighton as a part of this activity. Sewa volunteers called Pandit Ji and as per his advice divided cleanup work into 5 parts. Backyard, Basement, Kitchen, Parking area and God’s statues were cleaned as part of this effort. To help stock up essential items, volunteers also made a list of all necessary supplies such as paper rolls, hand soap, disposables plates, aluminum foils, rice bags and lentils and procured them for the temple.
Cleanup work started at 9.30 AM as planned and 45 people participated. About 22 men, 9 women, 8 teenagers and 6 children were part of this group. Volunteers worked in 5-6 groups and helped clean different areas of the temple. Teams completed cleanup work around 1.15 PM. Volunteers removed weeds in temple’s backyard and prepared it for the havan during Navaratri. Many volunteers expressed satisfaction about what the team achieved in a short span of time. Several volunteers felt that it was truly satisfying to see people young and old doing all the hard work so enthusiastically. The young children who were jumping from one place to another with one or the other tool in their hand seemed to enjoy their service gig and completed their little tasks.
All volunteers had their lunch at the temple and attended the special arathi conducted by pandit ji. With financial help from a couple of volunteers from the community, Sanatan Mandir’s carpeted areas were cleaned by a professional agency in the evening. Pandit Jeevanji thanked all Sewa Volunteers for their hard work. Certificates will be distributed to all participants by October first week.
Volunteers from Aurora, Broomfield, Boulder, Longmont, Superior, Thornton and Westminster participated in the Sewa Day. Sewa Day is celebrated by Sewa International as a national initiative to help develop volunteerism in the community. Sewa Day was pioneered by Sewa International UK and in 2010 more than 5,000 volunteers participated in the Sewa Day program in UK. In 2011 Sewa Day was planned in more than 17 countries including USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zeeland. Service events on the Sewa Day range from serving in the soup kitchens to cleaning up highways.
The SEWA Event Photographs can be viewed at this gallery.
Big Om to Atul Saini Ji Longmont Shakha Karyavaha and Vidyasagar Ji Vibhag Sewa Pramuk for coordinating this event and making this event very successful
May 6, 2011
Blood donation camp, arranged by Longmont Shakha Karyakartha, coordinated by Atul Saini Ji through Bonfils (https://www.bonfils.org/) at Twin Peaks Mall, Longmont on Saturday, 4/23 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This event was a part of our efforts to give back to our society through community service. Few Swayamsevak families from Longmont shakha participated in this event enthusiastically. Our first blood donor’s appointment was at 10:25 a.m. and the last appointment was at 12:10 p.m. Total 8 swayamsevaks donated their blood on that day. Couple of swayamsevak’s families and kishore ganas were also present during the blood donation to support the blood donors. The lab technicians and nurse were more than happy to answer the questions of curious kishore ganas, about how the donated blood will be used, as well how it can save the life of blood recipients. We also used the HSS banner and took some pictures. It was well received by both families as well as Bonfils organization. Each donor will get the certificate from Bonfils on the name of xxxx, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), USA. This program went on successfully and we hope we could involve more people in the future.
May 6, 2011
On the occasion of Earth Day, HSS volunteers participated in the Clean and Green Team Event
on Saturday, April 23 2011 to cleanup and restore the beautiful and historic San Diego River. This was a fun, challenging and important activity to help give back to our local environment. Tools, supplies and instructions were provided by San Diego River Park Foundation
Around 17 HSS volunteers joined an equal number of volunteers from other groups, and spent nearly 3 hours cleaning an area, picking up debris and trash along the river near Big Rock Road in West Santee. Our group won 3 prizes and special recognition for extra cleanup efforts in hard-to-reach areas, for cleaning out a big quantity of cigarate butts and for finding the “most exotic item”.
Photos of the event are available here
Children enthusiastically participated and enjoyed both events. Many thanks to all volunteers for your hard-work and service.
May 6, 2011
Over 100 people attended the HSS shaka and spring picnic for Bhutanese refugee families from 10am to 1:30pm on Sunday, April 10 2011. Volunteers from multiple organizations & communities including Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Sewa International, Shiva Vishnu Temple’s Youth Seva Sangam (YSS), Chinmaya Mission, and the Bhutanese, Nepali & Indian communities attended the event. Activities included warm-up exercises, surya-namaskars, group games, songs, and discussions. The event ended with lunch provided by HSS volunteers, and distribution of gifts by Shiva Vishnu Temple YSS and Sewa International. Doctors & other professionals attended and offered their services to the Bhutanese community.
The following items were donated to the Bhutanese refugee families:
– Rice cookers, microwave oven, kitchen appliances, utensils, cutlery, etc
– Printers, PC monitors & accessories, cellphones and other electronics
– Furniture, linen, sleeping bag, clothes
– First Aid Kits for each Bhutanese family (each was a 1000-piece kit sponsored by YSS)
Photos of the event are available here
May 6, 2011
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Irvine and Cerritos chapters conducted a sewa event on April 23, 2011 at Huntington Beach from 8 am to 12 noon. Our Swayamsevaks took part in the beach cleanup activities organized by Surfrider foundation/Agility. Both kids and adults participated in this event. We had about 30 people from both the shakhas who volunteered for this activity. This project was organized on account of Earth day on April 22.
The idea behind this clean up was to help free the beaches /oceans from non bio-degradable waste materials such as plastic, styro foam etc. We all know that every bit of plastic ever produced still exists today and much of it ends up in oceans.
The event started at 7:30 am on Saturday morning with registrations and the weather was just perfect for the event. All the volunteers were given a recyclable cloth bags to collect the non bio-degradable waste materials on the beaches and the waste collected by each volunteer was weighed at the end, so that they know how much waste was going to landfill. Kids got the volunteering certificates and some stickers as a token of appreciation toward the end. Everybody enjoyed doing this activity partly because it was at the ocean side.
Among the volunteers, we had 5 purush, 3 mahila and 5 kids from Irvine and 3 purush, 3 mahila, and 6 kids from Cerritos shakhas .
This was a lot of fun, everybody enjoyed it. We all were satisfied that we were doing something that was needed for our planet Earth to keep it safe and clean!! .
More photos can be seen here.
April 2, 2011
Durga Shakha, Pasadena did their first Sewa project of the year 2011 on Mar. 19, at the Los Angeles Food Bank in Vernon CA. The food bankacquires food and other products and distributes it to the needy people in LA county. Our shakha decided to contribute to this food bank by volunteering to assemble food packages that go to women with infants, children, and senior citizens in Los Angeles and the first step to this was commitment of time on a particular day and how many people would actually go for the event.
On the Mar 19, 10 people ( 4 mahilas, 5 purush and one Kishori) gathered in Temple City Park and we all carpooled to the food bank.
When we reached the venue, there were many people like us who came to volunteer. Each one of us were given tags with different food item names written on it like Milk, Vegetables, Cereal, juice, fruits etc.
Later we came to know that we were assigned so that we could put the respective items in a bag. Before we could start placing the food we were shown a small video of people who received the food from the food bank and their comments about it.
Soon we started our work, each one of us placed our assigned food items in the bag which was in turn kept in a plastic containerand we could slide the container easily on the long accumulation conveyor.
We reached the food bank by 8.30 am and started working at 9.00 am and were finally done at 12.00 pm. Overall it was a extremely good and satisfying experience for all of us and we were glad that we could contribute to such a kind of a project. After the project was over all of us enjoyed lunch in a restaurant.
See photos here