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Love and Light

Region 5 - Love in Action: Selfless Service at Families Relief, Sheffield

I am all too well aware that the sheer geography of region 5 makes it a challenge for us to work together in service projects as the distances may sometimes be too great. However, it is said that “where there is a will, there is a way” and one such occasion proved that statement true! On the 12th March 2016 at Sharrow Old School at Sheffield, Swami gave us the opportunity to serve Him through packing donations for refugees.

Although we got very little notice about the service project, that did not hamper us from showing up with our full contingent, heading from Manchester to Sheffield. We arrived in Sheffield at about 11am and started our work at the school. We worked with Families Relief, the charity organisation that was coordinating this initiative; they have used the school as premises for their activities. Over the years they have been doing wonderful work collecting clothes, shoes, scarves, tents and other items that refugees from Syria and Greece may need and distributing them. On arrival, we were assigned the task of segregating the various donated items.

Region 5 Devotees Offering Service to Families Relief in Sheffield

We were given bags filled with donated items and were asked to segregate them. A very efficient method was adopted. It was lovely to see the numerous items donated by many wonderful people from in and around Sheffield. We worked as a team and segregated all the clothe items into boxes for children, women and men. The boxes were finally sealed and moved to another room for storage. We were informed that the boxes were going to be loaded onto a cargo container the next day for immediate shipment.

Baba says, “Service to Man is Service to God”. Service can be defined as the action of helping or doing some work for someone without expectation of a reward. Even though we were not helping the refugees directly, it gave us all the happiness to know that soon the donated items would reach them. Having witnessed the suffering of the people in these countries and their plight in the news, this activity gave us satisfaction that we were able to play a small part in the aid of these individuals.

At a deeper level, I believe this service activity has given me an opportunity to indirectly show love towards the affected people. We are blessed to be Instruments in Swami’s Mission – the mission to spread Love in the world. Swami was Love personified. Love can be expressed in many ways.

The simple act of distributing the clothes made me realise that Swami had chosen this task for us as a way of expressing love and compassion towards these refugees during their difficult times. Looking at the dedication of the whole team and fulfilling the task at hand, gave me a sense of immense joy. On that day, we did not just pack some clothes into a box, but we had packed love, care, happiness and an abundance of positivity for the refugees. This day shall forever remain fresh in my memory as this was the one weekend where my time was spent not just surfing through the web and seeing the news around the word, wondering what could I do to save those in need, but in fact actually spent doing some service towards the community and thereby towards the world as a whole.

Hemanth Sri Ram
Sathya Sai Centre of Greater Manchester, Region 5 Youth