Seva for Lower-Income Individuals
October 5, 2017
Served: Carried boxes and bags full of groceries for disabled and elderly poor persons
Quantity: Seventy-five large boxes, plus several smaller bags and containers
Location: Manna House, an Organisation of the Huntsville Dream Centre
Number of people served: Seventy-five
Time Serving: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Many individuals from marginalised communities, such as those of the LGBTQ and Undocumented Americans, require food assistance just to survive. Bhagawan has taught everyone that any good work is God’s work, and that His devotees can freely partner with individuals from other organisations. Sai youth in Huntsville, Alabama, USA joined a group of young men and women from Circle K International (CKI), a collegiate affiliate of the local Kiwanis Clubs in the Northern part of the United States of Alabama, to serve again at the Manna House. CKI is a service-oriented organisation dedicated to a pledge, which includes the following words, ones which echo the mission of Bhagawan and his Children:
“... foster compassion and goodwill towards others through service and leadership,
… develop abilities and the abilities of all people, and
… dedicate (oneself) to the realisation of mankind’s potential!”
In the United States, several such organisations such as Rotary Club and Kiwanis have existed for decades and reflect the generous attitude of many Americans who wish to give back to society and who take action to provide for the needs of others. CKI has branches at several Universities across Alabama, including ones in Birmingham, where a Sai Ashraya youth homeless facility is in the planning stages. Relying on donated food for sustenance, elderly and disabled individuals requiring extra assistance come to Manna House to gather and collect a week’s worth of provisions, while somehow arranging for transportation to this sole distribution centre within this large regional metropolitan area.
Even small acts of kindness do not go unnoticed by Bhagawan. Young and able individuals willing to sacrifice their time, even during their fall holidays, were a source of manpower on that day. By carrying their boxes and bags, the elderly and disabled were free to choose the foods they required, knowing that the volunteers were there to help them carry their items to their transports. The young men, be they CKI members or Sai youth, share a common bond, and have eagerly participated in service activities, including rebuilding homes and cleaning natural parks. This sets an example for newcomers to their respective group. Always willing to help where help is needed, the CKI members appear to be willing to work with Sai youth on the planned Sai Ashraya shelter project, knowing that this affects individuals who are only a few years younger than them. A large population of children and teenagers in Alabama are raised by social workers and caring professionals through a statewide network of foster homes for orphans, but with Bhagawan’s direction, Sai Ashraya could address the needs of some of them in unique ways.