Chicago Sikh Community Serves Thanksgiving Day Lunch to Needy at Salvation Army

A team of the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago members spent their Thanksgiving Day volunteering to serve the tradition...

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Chicago: People from all walks of life and faiths volunteer and contribute money to the Salvation Army to feed the hungry. That includes the Sikh community as well. “Langar” is a sacred tradition in Sikh faith.

A team of the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago members spent their Thanksgiving Day volunteering to serve the traditional Thanksgiving meal, also contribute food items and funds for the needy at the Salvation Army located at 825 Christiana Ave in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The local Sikhs have been doing this service since 1992.

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Meals were packed and handed over to the families and individuals who came to the Salvation Army to pick up food for their families. There was no sit-in dining due to the ongoing pandemic. There was a steady flow of walk-ins but not a big rush of people this year probably due to the cold weather and the ongoing pandemic.

“It provides us a spiritual satisfaction and happiness while serving this meal to our needy brothers and sisters,” said Sarwan Singh the coordinator of this effort.

He also quoted teachings from Guru Granth Sahib to emphasize this activity.

  “Aap gavaaye sevaa kare taa kichh paaye mann”  

 A person develops a sense of humility while doing service. Service is surrendering one’s ego and giving oneself to the Guru. “By doing service one loses his egoistic nature and thereby gets respect from the society.”

Giving donations from one’s earnings is another form of Sewa. One must share his/her earnings with the poor and the needy people (Wand Chhaknaa). This is one of the pillars of Sikhism.

 “Nanak agai so milai je khate ghaale deye” . . . . .  . .  Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Page 472)

Guru Nanak says, “You get rewarded in future the charity given out of your earnings through honest means and hard labor.”

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“Once we start doing SEWA (service) there, we realize how blessed we are, that we have food on table.” Many of these guests bring their kids with them who otherwise may have not gotten the hot traditional meals. Kids were also given free toys donated by other charities.

The Salvation Army prepared hot food (turkey, mash potatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, stuffing, bread rolls, and pumpkin pie). A cargo van full of canned foods, care packs for men and women along with baby formula, diapers, etc. were donated by Amardeep Singh Chawla and Kushjiwan Kaur Chawla (Timki) to the Salvation Army.

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The Sikh Community members also made a collection among them and handed over $1251 to Captain Nikki Hughes of Salvation Army. The Salvation Army thanked the members of Sikh Community for their contributions to the food pantry and also the cash money. Captain Corey Hughes, who was out due to a surgery, also sent a message of thanks to the Sikh Community.

Needy families come to get food from their food pantry during weekdays. Salvation Army also provides drug de-addiction at their beautiful location and prepares the homeless for regular jobs and ultimately home ownership. They are located at 825 Christiana Ave in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

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