Daily Herald HSS Naperville organizing food drive

via http://www.dailyherald.com/story/print/?id=330340 published on October 25, 2009

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, celebrates life, hope, friendship and good will.

And while Hindus worldwide will enjoy the five-day festival with lights, fireworks and sweet treats, several local groups are adding public service to the mix.

The social and cultural club Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh Naperville is working with Sewa International, a volunteer service agency, and the Science of Spirituality Center near Naperville on a Diwali food drive.

The groups are collecting shelf-stable vegetarian food items to donate to Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry. Collection sites are located in Naperville and Aurora.

Food will be accepted through the close of Diwali, on Saturday, Oct. 24. Donations will be given to Loaves and Fishes on Oct. 31.

Food drive coordinator Ajinkya Nimbalkar tells us more about the efforts of Sewa International and the activities of HSS Naperville.

Q. What is your mission?

A. Our Motto is “Nar Sewa Narayan Sewa,” or “Serving Humanity is Serving God.”

Q. How do you work toward accomplishing that goal?

A. Sewa International USA is an organization mostly run by dedicated volunteers, hailing from all sections of the community and working together to serve to humanity.

Q. Who do you serve?

A. We serve all segments of population and are in 15 countries.

Q. When and why did the organization start? How has it grown?

A. The Movement Sewa International started in the United Kingdom in 1991 and since has spread more than to 15 countries. Sewa International USA was started in 2003.

Sewa International USA manages project in India and the United States. Sewa International India is an umbrella for more than 150,000 projects and programs all over India, with 80 types of activities and more than 200,000 volunteers involved in running these programs and projects.

Q. What kind of successes have you had?

A. Projects executed by HSS, USA

• Health awareness campaign featuring the SNY YOGA marathon

• Raksha Bandhan to firefighters, police officials and city officials

• Kids activities about Indian culture throughout the year

Sewa International partners in India have more than 25 years of experience in providing short-term and long-term relief operations in areas affected by natural calamities such as Gujarat earthquake, Orissa flood, Latur earthquake, Guyana Flood Relief, Tsunami in Asia.

Sewa USA also has welfare and educational projects that include welfare of tribal people, organizing schools for poor children, blood donation camps and health care seminars.

Sewa International USA work in the states include relief work during Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Hurricane Ike near Houston and Bhutanese Refugee Empowerment project in more than 30 cities nationwide.

Q. How can readers get involved?

A. If you wish to make a donation, kindly make it payable to “Sewa International” and mail it to Sewa International USA, P.O. Box 14622, Fremont, CA 94539.

For details regarding volunteer opportunities, you may visit our site: sewausa.org/contribute-sewa-usa

If you go

What: Diwali Food Drive

When: Through Oct. 24

Info: [email protected] or chapters.hssus.org/naperville/diwali-food-drive/

Details: Vegetarian items only; canned chili, canned vegetables (no corn), rice and rice meals, hot and cold cereal, sugar, flour, coffee, tea, vegetable oil, juice and juice boxes (100 percent juice), granola bars for school-age children’s nutrition program

To donate

• Balaji Grocery, 1570 W. Ogden Ave., Naperville

• Mayuri Indian Grocery, 790 Royal St. George Drive, Naperville

• Michael’s Fresh Market, 856 S. Route 59, Naperville

• Chutney’s, 1904 Brookdale Road, Naperville

• Spice Mart, 1552 North Aurora Road, Naperville

• Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, 4S175 Naperville Road, Wheaton

• online at chapters.hssus.org/naperville/diwali-food-drive/

To volunteer

Contact Prasad Garkhedkar at (630) 544-1281 or [email protected]


sewausa.org, hssus.org or sos.org

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