MANAVA SEVA is MADHAVA SEVA
Santa Ana - January 21, 2017
Initially, we had planned this month's service activity at the usual place - Civic Center, but Bhagawan had other plans. We were a group of 11 gathered at one of the volunteer’s home to wrap 120 Sandwiches, biscuits, fruit and water. Luckily, a member of the team found out that there was a protest in our planned area of service and would be difficult to get there.
We instantly prayed and started checking the underpasses to find people we could serve. It has been raining for sometime and the many years of dry beds were over flowing with water. The homeless had to move their belongings further up where it was so dangerously close to the water. The conditions were bad and it must have taken them a lot work moving all their stuff. We walked along the river carrying and distributing the food and water. It was difficult to see them in this situation. Some didn't even want to come out of their tents.
We came across a man and his son who were also distributing food in the area and they shared how the situation is getting worse day by day in this area. We could see Bhagavan’ presence throughout the Seva activity as there was not a single drop of rain on the distribution day. We had rains the day before and after - it was as if Bhagavan stopped the rain for our activity. All of us closed our eyes and prayed to Bhagavan for their safety.
The monthly service project has inspired all of us to appreciate what we have in our lives. It has also created a burning desire to do more and share the love.
San Diego - February 19, 2017
Imagine you are a fifteen-year old boy who has recently been thrown out of the house by his father’s girlfriend. Having been functionally disowned by your family, you had nowhere else to go but on the streets with the clothes on your back and the change in your pocket. You have nowhere to live, and no food to eat. You don’t know where the next meal will come from or where to go next. All you have is an old guitar and the will to stay alive day after day. This is the story of Jimmy: a young man who found himself in the same situation on the streets of downtown San Diego.
Kids like Jimmy, including those well below the age of 15, live in extraordinarily large numbers in the United States — there are anywhere between 1.5 and 2.8 million homeless and street youth in the US. If they all lived in a single city, it would be the seventh largest city in the country. To combat the cycle of youth homelessness, the StandUp for Kids non-profit organization (established 1990 in San Diego) works in multiple cities across the country, providing homeless youth with resources, Mentoring, and life skills programs. The organization operates primarily at night time, when volunteers walk the streets, delivering clothes, food, and referrals to counseling and other outreach initiatives.
Due to its open structure, the organization has welcomed and encouraged support from the Sathya Sai young adults in San Diego. San Diego young adults gather resources (clothing, jackets, blankets, toiletries), prepare and deliver food, and occasionally interact with the youth. It’s easy to get involved with resource and food donation, even as an independent volunteer. Goods can also be delivered to the local young adult’s representative. To get more directly involved with the youth, face-to- face, prospective volunteers must attend 16 hours of training programs to learn how to approach and interact with youth facing these struggles.
In the divine words of Bhagawan, “Service broadens your vision, widens your awareness, and deepens your compassion.” We have been enormously blessed on two fronts: we have had the privilege of growing up amidst loving and nurturing company, and we now have the privilege of serving God through service to humanity. Let’s take this opportunity to reach out and serve the youth who are suffering, with love, compassion, and kindness.