San Francisco , CA (October 02, 2020): Since the pandemic started in March 2020, Sewa International Bay Area Chapter has served approximately 20,000 families across Northern California by distributing essential supplies such as fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, and groceries valued around one million dollars, and given away $300,000 to 300 families affected by the pandemic.
Sewa volunteers have distributed more than 200,000 pounds of essential items to vulnerable populations by organizing donation drives and give-away events in cities across the Bay Area, including San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Hayward, Livermore, Concow, Oroville, and Santa Cruz. Over the past six months, 90 Sewa volunteers have spent 15,000 hours serving people affected by the pandemic and California wildfires.
“Our volunteers have been working hard to support and help families across the Bay Area that have suffered innumerable losses through the recent unforeseen events. Many of the families being helped have been hit doubly hard: quite a few are currently living in their cars or in tents because their homes were destroyed in the wildfire that hit the area hard in November 2018, and now, to make matters even worse, many have lost their jobs because of the pandemic,” said Sewa International Bay Area Chapter Coordinator, Guru Prasad.
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Upcoming Event on October 3:
“Sewa will be conducting a donation drive On October 3, 2020, to help the more than 200 families affected by the pandemic and the wildfires in Santa Clara. Sanitizers and other hygiene products along with more than 200 boxes of fruits and vegetables will be distributed on that day,” Guruprasad said.
Providing details of the help Sewa International has provided, Guruprasad said, “food, essential supplies, and monetary donations have been distributed to individuals of all ages and ethnic, religious and national backgrounds. About 42 percent of it has been given to low-income families, 25 percent to the homeless, 12 percent to seniors, 10 percent to wildfire victims, five percent each to poor children and first responders such as firefighters”.
Guruprasad thanked Sewa International’s partner organizations for joining hands by volunteering, donating, and distributing valuable supplies. Barbara Halliday, Mayor of the City of Hayward, expressed her gratitude to Sewa International: “There is a lot of need in general…, and we have a lot of really good organizations ready to help, and it means so much that we are saving families.”
Ron Broomfield, Warden at the San Quentin State Prison, stated in a recent letter: “This donation [of face masks, face shields, and hand sanitizers] will provide much-needed assistance to our staff. San Quentin is truly grateful to you for the donation.”
Recent Food Drives
Some of the food and essential items drives Sewa International has conducted in the Bay area recently include the following:
- On Saturday, September 19, 2020, Sewa International, in collaboration with Tiny Pine Foundation and other partner organizations, donated one truckload of almost 5000 lbs. of fresh fruits and other groceries, hygiene products, batteries, cleaning supplies, diapers, hot food, and gift cards for 700+ fire evacuees and needy families in Oroville, Butte County.
- On Friday, September 18, 2020, in collaboration with HCCC Livermore Temple and Livermore School District, donated 200 boxes (4,000 lbs.) of canned groceries and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- On Saturday, September 12, 2020, Sewa International volunteers, with the help of Santa Clara Council Member Raj Chahal, distributed almost 3000 lbs. of fresh fruits and vegetables among the underprivileged community within the City of Santa Clara.
- On Saturday, September 12, 2020, Sewa donated one truckload of hygiene products, batteries, cleaning supplies, diapers, sleeping bags, tents, hot food, and 3000 lbs. of fresh fruits, produce, groceries, and gift cards for more than 500 fire evacuees and needy families in Marysville, Butte County along with Tiny Pine Foundations and several other partner organizations. It was a true act of “Together we serve better”.
- During the week of August 30 to September 7, Sewa International volunteers participated in and/or organized a series of donation drive-through events in Pescadero, CA, and in Half Moon Bay, CA. In partnership with local organizations, Sewa International distributed new blankets, books, toys, non-perishable items, hygiene products, new clothes, and packs of 1-gallon water bottles for 200 families.
- On Saturday, August 29, 2020, Sewa International volunteers organized a school supply and food giveaway for 500 families in Oroville, CA as a drive-through event. This event, which was done in partnership with the Tiny Pine Foundation and the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, included the distribution of school supplies, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
- During the week of August 22 to 28, 2020, Sewa International volunteers coordinated the donations of almost 40,000 lbs. of fresh produce and supported almost 2000 families from Burma, Crisis Nursery, Redwood City, and East Palo Alto. Additionally, more than 35,000 pounds of fresh produce was delivered to the City of Hayward Food Drive at Chabot College in Hayward.
Food, essential supplies, and monetary donations have been distributed to individuals of all ages and backgrounds:
Since the start of the pandemic, Sewa International Bay Area Chapter has donated close to 100,000 KN95, N95, surgical masks, FEMA masks, and face shields to beneficiary institutes including the United States Postal Service, Valley Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, San Ramon Police Department, City of Sunnyvale, and the City of Cupertino, San Quentin State Prison, and many others. The Bay Area Chapter has also played an instrumental role in helping stranded passengers and students. In addition, Sewa International has provided or organized the following:
Financial Assistance: Almost $300,000 have been donated to close to 700 households that include 238 children. These are deserving families who have been financially impacted and challenged by the COVID-19 situation in Santa Clara County. Gift cards were delivered to Hispanic/Latino, Asian, and African American families in suffering communities.
Sewa Helplines: Helplines have been set up all over the United States to help and support individuals in need during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sewa International currently has 10 nationwide helplines for non-medical advice, VISA or travel-related questions and food deliveries. Sewa Bay Area has helped stranded travelers in arranging their travel back home and find temporary housing until getting a flight back home.
Northern California fire victims’ relief work: Sewa International has been instrumental in distributing food and essential items to victims of the fire who are now sheltered in evacuation centers since the start of lightning fires in August. Distributions were made at the following shelters: Salvation Army shelters, Motel 6, Comfort Inn in Vallero Butano Canyon Fires, Half Moon Bay, and around Santa Cruz and Pescadero, Napa Valley, Vallejo. Other donation events planned include the distribution of medicines, batteries, food, sleeping bags, and household essentials to families affected by recent lighting fires.
Our Local Partners:
With more than 2500 volunteers across 43 chapters and in collaboration with over 800 organizations across the country, Sewa International has committed to supporting all essential workers and service industries in these trying times. Through this extensive nationwide network of hardworking volunteers, Sewa International has donated close to 700,000 masks, 1,000 liters of sanitizer, 63,000 hot meals, and over $100,0000 to food pantries during this COVID-19 crisis. In addition, Sewa International has set up 10 national helpline centers to the field and monitor all calls for help and information. Through the information received via these helplines, Sewa International launched the Plasma Registry Drive which led to successful registry matches for 4 COVID-19 patients.
For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19.
About Sewa International
Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith-based Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 24 disasters in the US and abroad. In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area, Sewa volunteers helped in the rescue of nearly 700 people and have served thousands of affected families since then through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild homes and greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. Sewa International has also rendered relief in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2018 and Hurricane Imelda in 2019. Sewa teams in the San Francisco Bay Area continue to build and donate tiny homes for those rendered homeless in the California Camp Fire of November 2018.
Among its other accolades, Sewa International has been recognized by Charity Navigator – the premier nonprofit rating agency – as the number five among the “10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions.” Sewa has for the last three years continuously scored the topmost-rated 4-star from Charity Navigator and has earned perfect scores for its Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency.
Sign up to volunteer at the Santa Clara distribution event: https://forms.gle/UCdCDLx62NBkPjUd9
Sign up to volunteer at the Oroville distribution event on Oct 3rd: https://forms.gle/gxncR7KRRLhh9Hte9
Donate towards California Wildfire Relief Efforts: www.sewausa.org/donate
For more information on Sewa International and its activities, please visit www.sewausa.org.
For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19