Be The Change You Want To See In The World

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As our communities establish their roots in their adopted home in Canada, Seva is becoming more and more important. It is the foundation upon which communities reconnect and build new relationships. It is also a way for us to give back to the community at large. Did you know that more than a 1,000 people sleep without a shelter over their head in this cold? This figure is for Metro Vancouver alone. Some of them are accompanied by children or live with life-threatening health conditions, addictions, mental illnesses, and physical disabilities and need immediate care.

VANCOUVER – Every Sunday, community kitchens in temples and Gurdwaras come alive with the aroma of freshly prepared food and mellow conversations between volunteers as they cook and distribute Langar (food prepared by the community, for the community). This generous spirit with which individuals come together for a greater good, exemplifies Seva or selfless service that is an ingrained part of many South Asian cultures.

As our communities establish their roots in their adopted home in Canada, Seva is becoming more and more important. It is the foundation upon which communities reconnect and build new relationships. It is also a way for us to give back to the community at large. Did you know that more than a 1,000 people sleep without a shelter over their head in this cold? This figure is for Metro Vancouver alone. Some of them are accompanied by children or live with life-threatening health conditions, addictions, mental illnesses, and physical disabilities and need immediate care.

David-Sidoo-feeding the poor7A small act of kindness, goes a long way

You might think that homelessness and other such social issues are beyond your scope of help. But they are not. You can volunteer with local non-profit organizations or get involved by becoming a part of the conversation to find solutions to these problems. It’s that easy.

Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen (GNFK) has been serving Langar to those in need since 2007. Motivated by the virtue of Seva and community service, GNFK volunteers distribute warm meals to the community in the Downtown Eastside every Sunday, organize clothing drives to help shelters with their needs and host special events to involve the community for social causes. The organization has seen volunteers from all ages and all walks of life come together for the greater good.

“We are doing a year-long clothing and necessities drive. We started in January and will run all year until end of November. The idea is to collect items that are needed on a regular basis and to provide it all year. There are times throughout the year that shelters receive very low amounts of donations. We want to fill that void,” said Raman Khaira, volunteer, GNFK.

Getting involved with the organization is simple, the hardest part is to take the first step. “Reach out to us and ask. We have a few programs on the go that we could use volunteers. And we are always open to collaborating on an initiative that would provide support to those in need,” Raman added.

AD-LINK_Ask Auntieji-NEW-001Selflessness starts with awareness

Helping others is morally rewarding. Communities stand stronger when we help each other. If you are looking for a place to start, start by building an understanding of these issues and how they affect us. As part of its corporate social responsibility and to give back to the community, Stenberg College is organizing a two-day conference, called Be the Change. The conference aims to promote a solutions-based dialogue and provide the tools to make a positive difference in the lives of people who struggle with mental health and addictions challenges.

Become a part of the conversation. The conference will take place at The Anvil Centre, New Westminster, on March 16 and 17. It is a free event and all you need to do is register on stenbergcollege.com/bethechange.

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