Northwest Asian Weekly
If you go to Occidental Park in Pioneer Square on a Saturday morning, you will be greeted by long lines and dedicated volunteers. The long lines are for the food. And the volunteers are part of Sevadars, a nonprofit group that serves free meals to the community.
Apparently, the meals are popular, judging by the huge crowd that gathers while volunteers set up. The menu usually stays consistent, a combination of lentils and rice and a choice of a variety of juices. Over 130 meals were served within one hour this past Saturday.
Sevedars is based at the Renton Gurudwara. It is the mission of Sevadars to connect communities beyond religious, cultural, language, racial, gender, sexual or other divisions by realizing and practicing ‘Seva’: Performing selfless service for the greater good of humanity.
How did the project evolve? Volunteers from the Seattle Sikh Sangat approached Sevadars to help them fulfill their wish for Langar Seva. Instead of serving Langar in Gurudwara, they wanted to serve it in the community, for the needy. The volunteers collected all legal documentation, collected permits, followed food safety guidelines, and coordinated the location and the planning of the event.
It started on March 14th, these young volunteers served Langar to 115 homeless individuals, in a very short span of time. The Langar Seva was received with much love and appreciation. Sevadars, with financial funding, will hope to host Langar Seva on a regular basis.
The organization is serving more than just meals.
Since 1999 Sutinder Kaur Aunty Ji has been organizing the blood drives held at Renton Gurudwara.
These blood drives are in the remembrance of 1984 Sikh Genocide. Recently, Ji has expressed an interest to hand over the reins of organizing the blood drives to the younger generation. The next blood drive will be at the Renton Gurudwara on June 7th. There was great turnout in November’s blood drive and they hope to exceed those results in June.
Over the holidays, Sevadars distributed beanies and socks in downtown Portland. They have also distributed gloves and socks to the homeless in downtown Seattle.
This past summer there was a community langar held at Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Washington. The services were planned, financed, organized, and hosted by the youth in the Greater Seattle area.
The idea behind thie project/event was first introduced to the youth by a senior member of Sevadars. Three young women volunteered to bring this project to fruition. They were the team leads who were guided and mentored by a Sevadars’ member throughout the project.
The goals of this project were to do selfless service, promote selfless service, engage the youth population, to give the youth experience, tools, and skills that will help them in their professional and personal lives, and to create leaders and complete projects that can be repeated on regular basis.
And there is also fun. You can contribute by signing up for a basketball tournament (held three times a year). (end)
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