Guru Nanak inspired Surrey's Punjabi community to raise millions for Memorial Hospital

Were he able to, Guru Nanak would surely be pleased with the huge hearts and open wallets of the Sikh community in makin...

Sikh founder's birth celebrated on Nov. 12 this year, the day of the full moon in the month of Katak

The entrance to the Surrey emergency ward is aptly named after Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism who was born in 1469.

With the Nov. 12 full moon of the lunar month Katak, Sikhs all over the Lower Mainland will rejoice over the Guru’s birth 550 years ago, in the sacred celebration of Gurpurab.

Were he able to, Guru Nanak would surely be pleased with the huge hearts and open wallets of the Sikh community in making so much possible at Surrey Memorial Hospital...

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...One of the ways to celebrate Gurpurab is to donate to charity, and boy, if that’s the case does the Surrey Sikh community ever know how to celebrate.

Millions of dollars have been raised for the hospital over the years, beginning 13 years ago with the first RED FM radiothon in the tradition of seva, or selfless service, and sarbat da bhalla, the well-being of all humanity.

To date it has raised well over $6.5 million to improve health care at the hospital, Adams said, with the money going to the coronary care unit, emergency care, new monitors and ultrasound equipment, a specialized cancer pharmacy, the hemodialysis, stroke, kidney and cardiac units and more...

...“When they open the phone lines for the radiothon, it is the single most successful hospital radiothon in Canada,” Adams said. “We have children come and every cent they’ve collected over the past year they open their piggy bank and donate it to the hospital.

“We have cab drivers that give every cent they have earned that day to the hospital. It is one of the most humbling outpourings of community goodwill and generosity that I have seen in 30 years of fundraising.

“They are wonderful people doing fabulous things.

“It’s not just this hospital they support,” she added. “Some of the most successful food drives done in Surrey have been undertaken by the Sikh community. They are an incredibly generous community.”

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