Bay Area Service
This month of March, 2018 saw the Bay Area devotees come together for a new service activity. The team joined one of the local body organizations lead by a council member of the city, to serve breakfast to children from low-income families. It was a great way to come together with fellow Americans who share the vision of selfless service and love for the upliftment of communities. The area has a number of schools from low income neighborhoods and there is a huge need for these poor children in terms of both nutrition and education. The devotees met with the program director at 7:30 AM on the second Saturday of March and discussed a plan which included making pancakes, serving fresh fruits, coffee, cereal, fruit juices and other items. It was a great exercise to cook with non-devotee volunteers from the local communities who came together to support this initiative.
After about an hour of preparation, the team was finally ready to serve. At around 8:30 AM the elementary school doors were opened and slowly, many families entered with their little kids. There were lot of giggles from the little children, and a lot of running around by the other children. It was very festive to be with kids; no wonder they say that children are like God. The energy that the kids brought around was fantastic. It made the kids feel more beautiful to know that the team was going to serve them hot, healthy and fresh breakfast.
All children along with family members lined up. These are people who bring their kids to have a healthy breakfast and to make the kids participate in educational activities that happen post breakfast.
The team had two young volunteers who served cereal to the families and their children. The “very young adult” volunteers who after helping in cooking breakfast and serving to the kids, joined the other kids for breakfast!
There was a planned activity after breakfast where the volunteers wanted to teach kids with a view of not just entertaining but also in promoting the human values that Bhagawan often talks about. The volunteers chose stories and activities that taught the children about love, selflessness, peace and other virtues. It was a great session where both the children and the volunteers felt happy to be a part.
The team taught stories that focused on love and service to about 20 children from low-income families. Through these discussions, the children were imparted knowledge on racism, inequality, courage and other important things that would make them aware and self-confident. Several of the children had to be led out as they did not want to leave the volunteers.
It was a such a great and joyous event that the council member who is also the executive director of the program introduced the team to the school principal and officials, who then invited the team once again to the next third Saturday activity. The same volunteers along with a few others will join the third Saturday again. The team felt happy to be part of the activity. The council member was very happy to see the dedication of the team and its plans to participate more regularly and also to inculcate Bhagawan’s message of love, peace, righteousness and truth to the children.
The team used the One World One Sai computer platform to plan, track and execute the project. A short demo was also shared with everyone during the One World One Sai Conference that happened during the first weekend of March in the Bay Area. The team plans to offer all service projects through One World One Sai at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba!