Seattle Youth Seva
Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission provides emergency and long-term recovery services to homeless people in the greater Seattle area. UGM (Union Gospel Mission) started serving soup to thousands of homeless and unemployed people during the great depression and today, even after 80 years UGM continues to care for their neighbors in many more ways.
The Union Gospel Mission, located in Seattle’s downtown is hard to be missed. Whenever we pass by, we see homeless people lingering around the place, especially during the lunch and dinner time. The UGM has residents participating in the rehabilitation program. It not only serves food to its residents but also to all those homeless people who normally take to the shelter in front of the huge stores and buildings in downtown Seattle as the night sets in.
We, a group of like minded people always felt this is a blessed opportunity conferred by Bhagawan for us to sever these brothers and sisters. All our previous services were ‘Cook & Serve”, meaning we go to UGM, cook for the people and then serve the same. This time, on February 5th, Bhagawan blessed us with an opportunity to serve them with their favorite Pizza (vegetarian and cheese). We served them with Pizza, a cookie, chips and fruit juice. Also, it being the Super Bowl day, it was a day for everyone to enjoy the game with a pizza and a drink. In all, about 360 people were served as part of this service project.
As the time approached 5.00 pm, we prepared the counter and arranged all the food, plates, glasses, seating for the people to sit and eat comfortably. Exactly at 4.55pm, we offered the food to the LORD by chanting Brahmarpanam. The caretaker of UGM and other volunteers too participated in the chanting of the Brahmarpanam.
The food thus offered to the LORD was then served to all the people who came into the Men’s shelter that evening. There were many people who were little hesitant to ask for a second serving. Seeing this, a couple of volunteers went around the hall asking for a second serving and made sure everyone had a sumptuous meal. Some of them also packed for the night.
One of the 8th graders who accompanied us was serving these brothers and sisters and was quietly observing everything. I am sure Bhagawan is giving him lot of food for thought about our good fortune, and the opportunity we must utilize to serve and make this life worthwhile.
Some said, “God Bless You”. Others said, “Thank You”. Another said “Namaste”. One person said, “You guys are really helping a lot of hungry people out there”. Whatever they might have said, we felt blessed for being given an opportunity to serve the needy. After all, it is HIS that we are giving back to HIM. The day ended by the close of the dining hall at around 6.30 pm and we all returned with full of contentment, joy, and gratitude for being able to serve that day.