FEED THE NEED - JULY 2017
On the auspicious occasion of Guru Poornima on July 9, 2017, the Houston youth got together once again for their monthly Seva as an offering of love to their divine Guru. The Seva activity consisted of preparing and handing out lunch bags to the needy homeless people in various downtrodden areas of the city. Each bag consisted of Tofurkey sandwiches (made with vegetarian tofu slices, mayonnaise, mustard and pickles), cheese crackers and a water bottle.
Following the chanting of Aumkars and Gayatris invoking blessings for the Seva, the youth headed out to their previously identified prime locations for distribution. As always, they were greeted with loving smiles and gratitude as they handed out the lunch bags. The scorching summer heat had clearly taken its toll, given that many of these deprived souls were found to be exhausted, lying on the floor sleeping and requesting multiple water bottles for themselves. Another startling observation was that every month the number of people living in these areas was evidently growing indicative of the seriousness of this problem and the crucial need for more of such service activities.
The youth had made it a point to not only hand out the lunch bags, but also to interact with these folks providing them an attentive ear, listening to their experiences and problems and thereby understanding what more can be done to help. This time the youth had two wonderful experiences which came out of these conversations.
One young man was very curious to understand as to what drives the youth to care of people like him who are complete strangers given that he was robbed by his own brothers the previous night. The youth explained to him since we all are one, by serving him they were serving themselves and this is all being done out of pure love. He was pleasantly astonished by this answer and was highly appreciative of this kind gesture. The youth knew that Swami was utilising them as instruments to impart His boundless love to this one soul who probably felt very deprived of it after what he had just been through.
Another instance was that of a woman who approached the youth with teary eyes saying how she had recently lost whatever money she had left and requested them to help her out with sanitary supplies. The youth gladly obliged this request of hers and went to a nearby store and bought the items she desperately needed. They were elated to see a sigh of relief and a smile on her face. Through these incidents, Swami revealed how His timing is always so perfect – if the youth had decided to do their Seva towards the end of the month as they always do, they would not have had the opportunity of being there for these two individuals in their time of need.
After concluding another wonderful Seva, the youth reflected on having completed exactly a year of doing this Seva activity. Every month they had learnt something new and tried to improve the quality of their Seva to help with the problem of homelessness in their own city which would otherwise be completely unknown to them. They felt immensely grateful to Swami for allowing them to contribute in their own small way to His divine mission.