Arya Samaj of Greater Houston Volunteers at Interfaith Ministries Thanksgiving, Meals on Wheels Service

Photos: Aditya Talwar

Photos: Aditya Talwar

By Kanika Talwar

HOUSTON: On Thanksgiving Thursday, November 23, 7.30 AM both the Arya Kishore Mandal (AKM) youth (40) and the adults of Arya Samaj’s AKM (30) celebrated Thanksgiving in the best way possible: by working together to help, serve other people. They volunteered at Interfaith Ministries’ yearly event called Meals on Wheels for seniors across greater Houston area, as they have been for many years now.

The air that morning was full of chilly wind and foggy exhales, but the spirit of Thanksgiving and kindness was warmer. The volunteers, under guidance of Interfaith’s Brandi Legit started out by setting up tables with bright tablecloths to organize the food for the deliverers, which was a little different than what AKM usually does at this event.


Rather than delivering the meals to houses, everyone split up into groups at the actual site of the event. Some youth helped direct people on where to park, some passed out meals to the volunteers going to drop them off at houses, and others assisted kids in making Thanksgiving cards for the receivers of the meals. Each of these “meals” included one hot meal, one cold meal, a carton of milk, plastic silverware, and a lovingly handmade card. AKM group of 70 volunteers put in about four hours doing this work, and throughout, every single person was constantly moving around to fulfill their own roles, so that the whole system became like one large well-oiled machine. As they began wrapping up around noon, the volunteers took down the tents and consolidated their resources to make sure nothing went to waste.

It was so inspirational to see how many people came out voluntarily on Thanksgiving to help those in need at this wonderful event. Even dogs were out strolling with their owners, enjoying the lively morning. There was constant music in the background to keep the beat going, and the coffee and warm doughnuts kept everyone’s energy up. The hours passed quickly, and as everyone’s enthusiasm and vigor began warming the air, it transformed into a bright and beautiful sunny day. In the end, AKM made sure to take a group picture, as always, to commemorate the annual tradition. Next year, we hope to keep this momentum going and see even more good people who want to show their true thanks to the community by giving back at Meals on Wheels.

Earlier, morning was started by Interfaith’ s Vice President Warren Wenner and Acharya Surya Nanda of Arya Samaj of Greater Houston reciting a Thanksgiving prayer to all the volunteer from great Vedas in Sanskrit for the community.