Dedication during the Holiday Month
August is usually a very quiet month in Athens with most Greeks leaving for holidays. It tends to be a difficult month for the homeless people with many philanthropic organisations having closed for the month; they are often left without food. The youth at the Nectar of Love service centre foresaw this and planned in advance. Namely, they had coordinated their holidays between each other so that a few core members of the team were always in Athens enabling Narayana Seva to continue as usual during August. A reporter from Greece’s leading newspaper “Kathimerini” was definitely surprised to see volunteers serving food on August 15, one of Greece’s biggest national holidays when Athens is almost empty. He approached the youth and asked to write an article about their organisation, to show an example of strong dedication towards a philanthropic cause. The homeless on their part were also very grateful, often telling the members, “Thankfully you came! We haven’t eaten anything all day!” This relief was itself the reward for the service provided!
It is worth mentioning how valuable the presence of the elder team members during Seva is. They have decades of experience and are naturally better than the youth at guiding and speaking to new volunteers who come to the service centre. Specifically, the elder team members are very good at introducing newcomers to the fundamentals of spirituality and Swami’s teachings; or if necessary, at talking to them about spirituality without referring to a particular Guru. Their experience is invaluable – so the youth try to alleviate most of their physical work, enabling the elders to spend more time talking and guiding.
Not far away from Greece, the youth in Cyprus also kept up certain Seva activities during August. In collaboration with the Red Cross in Cyprus, they prepared 150 bags full of canned milk, olive oil, biscuits, cornflakes, sugar, pasta and rice which were distributed to families in need. Furthermore, they allocated 1,000 coupons to impoverished individuals, enabling them to acquire food from a bakery.