Prayers for Fire Victims and Service to the Needy
Northern California woke up to a rude shock during the second week of November when the largest fire broke out and displaced hundreds of people. Several were missing, several were reported dead, some bodies were unidentifiable and there was a lot of ashes spread across thousands of acres. While people in Northern California were still figuring out what to do, another fire broke out in the highly populated Bay Area including Oakland and San Ramon which are popular social neighborhoods. Although not much casualty was recorded, the smoke and ash was still extremely toxic. According to a report, the Bay Area became the most polluted area in the "whole word" during this week and the visibility was heavily reduced. Schools and offices closed for one or two days and health hazard warnings were issued. Sai Ashraya team prayed to Bhagawan for strength to serve the neighborhood during these unfortunate times.
Responsibility means “Response”+”Ability”. While the hearts of the Sai Ashraya team wanted to help everyone; it was not physically possible. We prayed “Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavanthu” for all the people impacted and planned to extend our help to the homeless in and around our neighborhoods. The team’s routine dinner activity was scheduled to happen on the third Saturday of the month, in the newly built Oakland Tiny Home projects where about 60 homeless people are staying. Sai Ashraya team made hot and healthy soup and served it on that cold winter weekend day and spoke to the authorities on how to extend the help further. The City was already providing masks for people as the condition of the air was extreme unhealthy. Several prayers and Bhajans were also happening across the Bay Area throughout the two weeks.
The children of the group also participated by coloring the soup containers. Messages of Bhagawan were written to show the homeless that there are people out there who care and that they should not lose hope.
There was another Sai Ashraya team that worked in parallel that morning and served about 130 meals and included 70 children in a nearby East Bay shelter. As part of Thanksgiving activities and a request from the shelter administrators, Sai Ashraya team collected lots of toys in “very good condition”, books, “like-new” clothes and shoes and many more important items. Several health-kits were also distributed in Chico, a town which is very near the place where the original fire broke out near Butte Valley. This weekend was a buzz of activities for Sai Ashraya team members as Seva was done in multiple areas by multiple teams.
Sai Ashraya team continues to help the people while also praying to Bhagawan that by his benevolent grace, He lessens the effects of the fire and the burden of the people during these difficult times.