Sewa Day 2015: International Day of Volunteering Celebrated Across USA

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Sewa volunteers working with the Adopt A beach Foundation in Galveston, Texas.

HOUSTON: The Indian-American community between September 11 and October 4 celebrated  “Sewa Day” – a day of pure service – with a variety of community service projects at over 20 locations across the USA. Hundreds of volunteers from Sewa International and partner organizations including professional bodies, associations, linguistic, temple, spiritual, social and cultural organizations came together for a day of community service and worked on a variety of projects to make a difference in their communities. Sewa Day was also celebrated across the world in UK, Canada, Australia, Guyana, and Sri Lanka.

Projects were organized based on three guiding principles:

1. Serve to relieve hardship to humanity

2. Bring a little joy to the needy

3. Increase environmental awareness

Youth and children enthusiastically participated as volunteers too. At Boston, MA, volunteers cooked dinner for 200 people at the Cor Unum Meal Center – a nonprofit that provides nutritious meals in a safe environment to needy families. In Charlotte, NC, volunteers removed roadside trash and debris as part of the county’s adopt-a-city street program, and also cleaned up the local temple.Volunteers in Cleveland, OH, Sewa cleaned up the Weiss Field Metro Park. In Columbus, OH, volunteers organized group games and a cultural program for the Bhutanese refugee community, and, distributed school bags and food.In Philadelphia, PA, volunteers participated in a food drive and helped manage parking at a local festival. Volunteers in Delaware cleaned their neighborhood temple including shrine upkeep, maintaining the parking lot, washing windows and collecting garbage.Three Sewa Day events were held in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area, TX. Youth volunteers helped out at Frisco with a community organization devoted to local service projects, with acts of love and socialization with a sisterhood of moms.

A free medical camp was organized for the Bhutanese refugee families in Dallas in which three doctors and 16 volunteers participated and over 40 patients benefited. Sewa volunteers also served at Plano City’s cultural exchange program showcasing Japanese art and culture.In Houston, TX, 50 volunteers picked up trash and debris from Galveston beach as part of the Texas adopt-a-beach initiative. In San Antonio, TX, volunteers vacuumed, cleaned doors and windows, and washed the blinds at their local mandir. In Denver, CO, volunteers cleaned up the Brighton temple hall, yard, kitchen and deities. Volunteers from Portland, OR and Seattle, WA cleaned up trails and vegetation and participated in upkeep and preservation activity at the Vedanta Society’s spiritual retreat.