Bimonthly ‘Street Patrol’ Service Activity
The Sai youth of Toronto initiated their bimonthly ‘Street Patrol’ service activity on August 20, 2017 and August 24, 2017. This service activity was implemented in Toronto on Swami’s direct command, which He gave to one of the youth members of Toronto in Santa Clara, California in June, 2017.
The street patrol service consisted of delivering food packages to the homeless living on the streets near Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto’s business hub. These care packages consisted of five items: one fruit (an apple or banana), one water bottle, two protein bars and one carton of chocolate milk. The Sai youth delivered these care packages and engaged in meaningful conversations with the homeless.
Being in Toronto, a city which is considered to be one of the most multi-cultural in North America, the youth met homeless individuals from a variety of backgrounds, ages, genders and social status. The youth were also surprised at the magnitude of the homeless problem in their city. In fact, on the second day of service (August 24, 2017), the youth finished giving out all their food packages in less than 20 minutes, primarily because of the large number of homeless which they saw on the streets that day. This verified the reason why Swami wanted the Sai youth of Toronto to focus on helping the homeless. Over the two days of service, around thirty homeless people were served
Many of the homeless were very appreciative of the food package by giving their blessings to the youth and profusely thanking them for the unexpected act of kindness. Some of them also considered the Sai youth as their children and were very open about their lives. By listening to their stories about the suffering they go through on a daily basis, the Sai youth provided a space for these homeless individuals to talk freely about their feelings. One man discussed his plight of being abandoned by his sons, leaving him to live on the streets. This situation touched many of the Sai youth, and they realised that this service is not just about feeding the poor, but it is also an opportunity to become advocates for the homeless people in Toronto.
The youth have plans to expand their scope of service by making more food packages to ensure that no homeless person in Toronto goes hungry for that particular day. The Sai youth of Toronto are thankful to Swami for giving them this opportunity to not only help their fellow Torontonians, but also progress in their own spiritual paths to self-realisation.