August 7, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York, NY: Inspired by the Oak Creek community’s resilience and Chardikala (Sikh concept of eternal optimism), the Sikh Coalition partnered with Sikh leaders from coast to coast last weekend for the sixth annual National Day of Seva (selfless community service). This initiative honors those who lost their lives and loved ones at the Oak Creek, Wisconsin gurdwara on August 5, 2012.
Sikhs and non-Sikhs participated in 28 community service projects in 27 cities of USA – topping last year’s record to make 2018 the largest event in the six-year history of National Day of Seva.
“Thank you to all the sevadaars (volunteers) who met the needs of their neighbors through selfless service,” said Community Development Director Rucha Kaur. “Seva is a integral part of the Sikh tradition, and we are honored to work with Sikhs nationwide, putting this central Sikh concept into practice to serve our wider communities.”
The seva projects include rebuilding houses impacted by Hurricane Harvey, collections of care packages for domestic violence shelters, langar (free community kitchen and meal) service, and park restoration projects. While most of the projects took place this past weekend, more projects will be held in the coming days.
“Seva is of utmost importance in Gurbaani thought and the Sikh way of life,” said Surinder Singh, who organized a seva project in Fairfax Station, Virginia, along with sangat members from Gurdwara Sikh Foundation of Virginia. “Commemorating National Day of Seva was a great opportunity for us to nurture these values in our youth, who were heavily involved in this seva project, so that they may continue to do seva throughout their lives and continue giving back to the community.” This was the first year this sangat has participated in National Day of Seva.
Sevadaars organized projects across the country, including in California: Orange County, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Jose, Walnut/Pomona; Norwalk, CT; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Lexington, KY; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; Charlotte, NC; Jersey City, NJ; Lawrenceville, NJ; Oakland, NJ; Albany, NY; Long Island, NY; New York, NY; Richmond Hill, NY; Cincinnati, OH; Fort Worth, TX; Houston, TX; San Antonio, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; and Fairfax, VA.