Toronto: To celebrate valentine’s, just to say someone care’s, members of Toronto’s Sikh community delivered dozens of pink boxes containing cupcakes, and chocolates to four women’s shelters here on Sunday.
Each care package included handmade cards authored by elementary school children. “You are great,” read one Valentine. “You are beautiful,” said another, thestar.com reported.
“Something as small as a cupcake could make someone’s day,” said Sarpreet Pannu, a member of the group. “We met with some of the women in one of the shelters and saw how it put a smile on their face,” she added.
This initiative was based on the Sikh tradition of langar – the communal kitchen – where a meal is served for free.
Pannu was one of 25 volunteers who spent the past several weeks coordinating the joint effort to deliver 160 treat-filled parcels to four shelters in the Greater TorontoArea.
She worked out the logistical details with shelters, such as drop-off times, as well as finding donors to supply the pastries and chocolates.
Nellie’s Women’s Shelter director Margarita Mendez said charitable acts such as these were always welcomed, no matter how big or small. “It’s nice to have little gifts say someone cares,” she said.
Organizations from other five countries were also part of the campaign. More than 1,600 such packages are expected to be delivered by Sikh groups nationwide.
Two Sikh communities in the US state of Indiana will donate funds and food to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers, as they remain unpaid due to the ongoing partial government shutdown.
The Sikh community of Fishers, Indiana, and Gurinder Singh Khalsa of SikhsPAC, a national Sikh political action committee, are coordinating with Mario Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, and Aaron Batt, TSA Federal Security Director, to support TSA agents, who are impacted by the shutdown, the American Bazaar news portal reported on Thursday.
“The community has come forward and is keen to support the workers who are undergoing the crisis of missing their paychecks,” Khalsa told the portal.
He said that $5,000 in gift/grocery cards and more than $5,000 worth of hot food will be delivered to the TSA agents at the Indianapolis Airport on January 28.
Leading the community efforts, Khalsa is currently working with several local grocery stores that are eager to offer foodstuff at discounted prizes.
“We are looking at the places that can offer us good discounts so that we can deliver maximum stuff to workers affected,” he said.
TSA official Batt said the communities’ efforts were “overwhelming and amazing”.
To ensure that the community is able to offer helping hands to federal workers until the shutdown ends, the Sikhs in Fishers have vowed to encourage more Sikh temples and faith-based organisations in the state to come forward in assisting in the coming weeks if needed.
“Our community kitchen will continue serving every Sunday and we will deliver hot food weekly to our TSA public servants on a weekly basis until the shutdown is lifted,” Khalsa said.
TSA falls under the Department of Homeland Security and has about 60,000 employees.
Its workers are one of the lowest paid employees and have been working without pay since the shutdown began on December 22.