In this era of a fast-moving world, where mindfulness is not only a difficult goal to pursue but also tested every second through the internet, what could be that one tangible practice that connects you to yourself?
Believe it or not ‘kindness’ is one idea that keeps your heart and soul intact! In other words, deeply honoring the ‘other’ in a more meaningful way is the simplest way to find true happiness.
With this noble thought of ‘sewa’ and ‘daan’, ‘Sewa Diwali‘ was started in 2016 in different parts of the U.S. by a group of organizations. Today, about 32 states and 200 cities participate every year to collect and donate food to all those who are in need. The project has so far involved about 3,000 volunteers and 364 organizations to date and the number is increasing day by day.
It is driven by a group of several individuals and organizations like Yoga, Spiritual, Hindu/Buddhist/Sikh/Jain centers, temples, gurudwaras, linguistic and Indian socio-cultural organizations who believe in the Sewa Dharma, i.e., Service to Humanity is Service to Divinity.
The mission of the project is to celebrate the festive and enlightening spirit of Diwali by touching upon the very essence of Diwali, sharing and giving by generously donating food, cash, or other utility products by conducting donation drives on a community level.
Today, there are 100s of groups and organizations actively participating in this food drive on the national level and contributing voluminously to serve communities and individuals in need. Organizations register as a community, organization, or individual and organize food collection drives around the festival of Diwali. Then they Identify beneficiaries in their area, such as food pantries/banks, soup kitchens, direct communities, etc., to donate the collections.
Interfaith Alliance of Irving, Texas is one such non-profit organization that has been participating in this beautiful project ever since 2021. It was formed in 2020 to encourage peace and harmony among the community members coming together and representing different faiths. Interfaith Alliance of Irving facilitates interfaith dialogue to enhance mutual understanding and respect for religious differences.
Keeping this spirit of mutual love and peace, this is the third annual Sewa Diwali food drive conducted by the interfaith community of Irving since 2021. This year’s Interfaith Alliance of Irving Sewa Diwali Food Drive culminated on Nov. 13.
It was wonderful to see how 6 different faiths came together to collect and donate food to Irving community #IrvingCares. We had representatives from Sikh, the Dawoodi Bohras, Baha’i, Scientology Church, Zoroastrian, and Hindu communities.
In total about 1710 pounds of food and other utility products were collectively donated that benefited ‘Irving Cares’, an organization that serves those who need help with basic living. This will also help lots of needy families during the upcoming holidays.
We appreciate all the faiths joining this service project with Rise Against Hunger. We are grateful to be part of the Interfaith Alliance of Irving as we work together to make our world a better place to live peacefully.
Richa Yadav is a Business Analyst in Coppel, Texas.