Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Give a Little..... Starting a New Seva Center in California
By: Ouma Samy
For the past six months, I was suffering from nerve pain and I could barely walk. Last December, my friend Rema Venkatsubban called me to talk about my health. Knowing Rema’s great dedication to volunteering and helping the community, I told her that as I was now at home in Irvine, California, I would like to do Annadhanam (Food donation), like she used to do, in Wichita, Kansas.
She explained me about The Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC) and advised me to start a Hindu American Seva Center in California. She asked me to speak with Ms. Anju Bhargava, founder of Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC) and also asked me to contact the local Interfaith Ministry as well.
Excited about this first opportunity, I contacted Orange Coast Interfaith Shelter (OCIS). The OCIS Executive Director, Laura Miller, immediately responded to my call and I informed her about doing Annadhanam on January 28th. She was very attentive and accepted my proposition to do Seva.
Later on, I contacted Ms. Anju Bhargava and I asked to join HASC. She welcomed me. I was so excited to be part of HASC family and serve the community by all means.
On January 28th, my husband, my son and I planned the menu for the Seva.
We started cooking early in the morning. We prepared rice pulav, red kidney beans curry, pasta, tomato sauce and potatoes stir fry curry. We bought some salad, bread and apples as well.
At 5:45pm Ashlyn, the assistant Manager welcomed us at OCIS. People came around 6pm. They enjoyed the food and were very thankful to have such a wonderful and unexpected dinner. They complimented us as follows:
1. “The food was great! Loved the noodles and especially the potatoes with red sauce! Did an excellent job.”
2. “The food was really good, haven’t had anything like it. Enjoyed it very much.”
3. “Very good! The kids really enjoyed the potatoes and apples.”
Anna Dhanam (Food Donation) is considered as the best form of charity. We did Shanthi Seva with remembering the great quote of Buddha, “If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.”