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News Media: Atlanta, GA
Sewa for Medical Workers - DIY Masks made with compassion and dedication, 9 April 2020
written by Youth for Sewa, Samhitha Cinthala
Service organizations nationwide and nonprofits including Sewa International USA have successfully raised funds for reliable PPE to be donated immediately for medical workers around the United States. There is an urgent need to stop the spread of COVID-19 and it will greatly help if communities at large take protective measures such as following good hygiene and wearing face masks as recommended by the CDC.
Sewa is actively building a community of selfless volunteers who have joined a nationwide DIY Mask Project to create multilayer cloth masks that can be utilized in different healthcare settings. These cloth masks can be used perhaps as an additional layer over higher protection PPE (N95s, KN95s, FFP2 masks) in order to prolong this PPE usability for nurses and physicians. In addition, these cloth masks can be laundered and then used for patient care.
The DIY Mask Project is rapidly growing as more volunteers are joining this momentum in states such as Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, and Georgia. We are calling all community members who want to contribute and help in this effort to get involved in this nationwide DIY Mask Project. Whether you enjoy sewing or are interested in helping deliver materials and masks, please consider joining this initiative to help protect our medical workers and community members in need of masks.
Sign-up to volunteer using this spreadsheet!
To get started, you can use this site for more information on how to make these masks.
A dedicated and growing group of more than 30 volunteers in Atlanta from areas such as Cumming, Suwanee, and Norcross have been creating DIY masks at home. Volunteers who are interested in joining this effort can do a brief training to get started. This coordinated effort requires great logistic support and materials for the masks which are picked up and dropped off by various volunteers. Mask-makers use sewing machines they have at home or ones that are distributed to them, cotton fabric, and interface materials (non-woven fabrics) to create these layered cloth masks. The team has chosen a simple and effective design that is both easy to stitch and limits wastage of material.
Compassionate adult and youth Sewa Atlanta volunteers making masks for our medical workers
The goal of making 25-50 masks per volunteer every week is a challenge that is graciously overcome. Some volunteers have been making 100 masks per collection.
WhatsApp group posts of each volunteer’s efforts are supported by encouraging comments from fellow volunteers. Daily Zoom meetings allow all volunteers to discuss decisions and get updates regarding mask materials. The mask production team comprises volunteers working on material, design, inventory management, logistics and distribution of these masks.
Requests and next steps for bettering the DIY mask-making process builds a strong community that serves our healthcare workers as they combat COVID-19 on the frontlines. Current suggestions from volunteers include exploring corporate level distribution of masks through Sewa to local stores such as Publix, Walmart, and Kroger in the near future.
In spite of self-quarantining and changes due to social distancing that COVID-19 has brought into all of our lives, Sewa volunteers collectively bring each other up and inspire one another to do better for our society.
Masks created by Sewa Atlanta volunteers are both effective and creative
Sewa Atlanta has donated a total of around 475 masks so far to Atlanta area hospitals in need including Northside Hospitals, Piedmont Healthcare Hospitals, several private practices, and others.
DIY Masks ready to be delivered
Nurses at Northside Hospital with a Sewa Atlanta
COVID-19 Disaster Response Volunteer
In addition to the DIY initiative, Sewa volunteers have also been sending home-made Indian food to the healthcare workers in appreciation of the immense frontline work they are doing during this COVID-19 pandemic.
We sincerely thank our health care workers from the bottom of our hearts for risking their lives to protect ours. Let us join efforts in any way we can to help them at this important time!
Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings | CDC
Weekly Report: Sewa International Atlanta Chapter Volunteer efforts for COVID-19 Response
It is our great pleasure that your organization has responded positively to partner with Sewa International, USA on ongoing efforts to support our community at these difficult times.
Upcoming Events By Sewa International Atlanta: PLEASE SHARE & FORWARD TO ALL YOUR MEMBERS1. Wed. 8th Apr. 9pm EST - Managing the effect of Coronavirus on small business by Shri. Jagdish Sheth
https://www.facebook.com/events/1606423626179154/2. Fri. 10th Apr. 5-6 pm - Support and Guidance to Indian diaspora during Covid-19 by Smt. Swati Kulkarni, Consul General of India (CGI)https://www.facebook.com/events/243570096688438/ (Please share your questions by Wed. Apr. 8th, in advance of the CGI webinar using the link below: https://tinyurl.com/COVID-19QuestionsToCGI)
Sewa International Atlanta Chapter Summary Report of Volunteer efforts for COVID-19 Response: (25th Mar – 5th Apr)• SouthEast US Helpline OPEN and taking calls. Please encourage anyone who needs help to call our HELPLINE at (401) 484-SEWA or (401) 484-7392
• 300 Non-medical DIY Masks made and donated by 28 volunteers
• 2067 Masks (PPE) donated to NY City, Local Fire Dept., Local Sheriffs office Cumming, Local First Responders, Northside Hospital Staff, Gwinnett Jail, Drs. Offices.
• 200 Meals provided to Health Care staff at Northside Hospital Dunwoody
• 5 Informative Webinars: Current Medical concerns, Mental Health coping tools, Stress management methods, Immigration Concerns by Lawyers, Loss of jobs and financial concerns
• Canned Food Drives for local area Food Pantries continues
• International Students being helped. Please encourage International Students to call our helpline.
• Seniors and others who need help: Grocery delivery, Medicine delivery, Prescription refills – Please call our help line
• Sankalp Patra – Collaborative partnerships with 50+ local organizations
• Boots on the Ground – Delivery team for anyone or organizations that need help
• Fund Raising – On going. We are in dire need of funds. Please donate on our FB page or on our webpage at https://sewausa.org/COVID-19-Fundraiser
• Sewa HELPLINE for any help (401) 484-SEWA or (401) 484-7392
• FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/SewaAtlanta
• Web Site: https://sewausa.org
• Donate Link: https://www.facebook.com/donate/673664973400454/
Your donations are appreciated!
If you have not already done so, please do complete our collaboration letter so that we can finalize our partnership for ongoing support. It is a simple 2 step process:
Please sign this ‘Sewa Sankalp’ by simply clicking on link www.sewausa.org/sewasankalpa
Please upload your organization’s Logo
Sewa International USA conducted a family workshop on College readiness for
current high school students and their parents on March 5, 2016 at Radha Madhav
Society Duluth, GA. This event was offered free as a service to the community. This
workshop was the part of series of workshops planned under the family services
project of Sewa International in Atlanta and other cities in the US.
DEEP PRAJWALAN BY CHIEF GUEST MR & MRS REDDY Seen with Dy Consul Mr D V Singh, Mr. Pratap Singh- Sewa
On November 11, 2016, the Atlanta chapter of SEWA USA held its annual fundraising gala banquet at Tadka Banquet Hall in Alpharetta. The event was attended by about 300 guests. Mr. and Mrs. T R Reddy, founder and owner of Powerline Inc. of Augusta, graced the event as its chief guests. Honorable D.V. Singh Deputy Consul of Consulate of India. Atlanta along with many other dignitaries of Atlanta attended the event.
Presidential award for Volunteerism to Youths
The celebrations started with welcome note by Vikas Arora, Atlanta Chapter coordinator and followed by Deep Prajwalan along with our esteemed guests. After an auspicious start to the proceedings, the chief guests shared a few pearls of wisdom about their personal motivations for supporting Sewa and the stellar service it performs. Mr. Pratap Singh Chauhan, President of Sewa Atlanta Chapter, shared his intention of educating 10,000 children by 2020, a very admirable goal which was met with tremendous applause. The importance of imbibing SEWA bhavana was shared by Mr. Reddy and it struck a chord with everyone in the audience. Honorable D.V. Singh shared with the listeners, his association with numerous events SEWA Atlanta has been conducting ever since he started working with the Indian Consulate in Atlanta.
Sewa Humanitarian of Year Award Presented to Mrs. Sarita & Mr Ankur Rana of Knowledge Momentum
Deepa Luthra and Sai Santosh emceed the event with effervescent wit. After the chief guests shared their words of wisdom, the emcees introduced SEWA interns from SEWA Get Inspired, and SEWA Run events who won the President’s Award for exemplary contribution to society. They were honored with certificates presented to them by Mr. and Mrs. T R Reddy. After recognizing the interns’ excellent contribution towards SEWA’s activities, Vivek Srivastav was invited to give a presentation on his work for the Bhutanese Empowerment Program. He enthralled the audience with facts and figures on the impressive inroads SEWA has made in the Bhutanese community towards education, health, family services etc.
Sewa Volunteer Vivek Srivastva- Presenting Sewa's accomplishments in 2016
SEWA has always been committed to promote excellence in education amongst the Bhutanese community. Towards this goal, two Bhutanese students, Umesh Mongor and Padam Koirala were presented with scholarships for achieving excellent GPA’s in high school.
Sewa Scholarship to Bhutanese high school Students for Graduating with excellent GPAs
SEWA has recently increased its focus on Family Services for providing a support to victims of domestic abuse. Mr. Yogesh Thapliyal gave an engrossing presentation on the progress SEWA has made in the past year in this area. Another significant program run by SEWA is the Sponsor A Child program where SEWA, with its own network, and with the help of other co-operating institutions helps donors sponsor education, lodging, school and axillary expenses of under privileged children. Sarita Rana and Mayuri Singh delivered an informative presentation on the success SEWA has had in this area in the past year. The conclusion of the presentation was chosen as the appropriate time to honor Ankur Rana and Sarita Rana’s initiative, Knowledge Momentum Inc. Through their organization, Mr. and Mrs. Rana have sponsored the education of 73 girls. Mr. and Mrs. Ankur Rana were presented with Sewa Humanitarian of the Year Award by Atlanta’s philanthropist Dhiru Shah. Anil Dhamani’s contribution towards sponsoring 100 children for 2017 was recognized and applauded greatly by the audience.
Sewa Volunteer Yogesh Thapliya- Presenation on Family Services
One of the recent SEWA initiatives has been working with grassroots level small and mid-range farmers. Milind Thakre gave an engaging presentation on the progress SEWA has made on that front. This was the last presentation of the evening. Dr. Prasad Garimala, an oncologist and avid supporter of Sewa, gave vote of thanks to all the dignitaries attending the event, and thanked the audience for their contributions towards SEWA’s efforts.
After Dr. Garimala’s wonderful vote of thanks, the audience was entertained by artistic Indian and Western dances by four different troupes. Dinner was served during the dance performances, and the audience enjoyed scrumptious food while enjoying the tremendous display put on by artists. The dances concluded by 10:00 pm and the floor was thrown open for everyone to enjoy.
Lambert High School Dance Group Lush
The gala dinner was a massive success, far exceeding the expectations of the SEWA volunteers who had worked for many days before the event to ensure its success. SEWA succeeded in raising $78,000. This was largely possible due to generous donations from our sponsors, great and small who showed their big heart. SEWA Atlanta team is excited to continue spreading happiness around the world.
Photography by Viral Kothari
Sewa International USA conducted a day long Bhutanese Heritage Camp for high school students of Bhutanese Community in Atlanta on September 10th at Chinmaya Niketan, Norcross, GA. This event was offered for free as a service to the community, this camp was the new initiative planned this year under the Bhutanese Empowerment program of Sewa International in Atlanta and other cities in the US.
Dr. Manhar Ji Lighting the lamp and Inaugurating the Program
The purpose of the Bhutanese Heritage Camp was to provide a forum for discussion of some important topics related to Bhutanese and Nepalese culture, history, challenges within the community and also talk about personality development, leadership and instil pride and a sense of identity in the community youths.
Leadership workshop: Discussions on History, Identity, and Culture
Mayor Edward Ted Terry lively talk about Clarkston town history and diversity in the community
Local government officials, educators, students from Emory and Georgia Tech Enrolled in Law and PhD programs helped with participation and in conducting the sessions. Speakers were invited from various fields and a panel discussion was hosted for kids.
Siddeshwar Ji and Yashwant Ji - Ice Breaker Games
Fun and Games organised By Tarun and Abhiram
Singing & dancing
Local leaders and community members participated in the program. Several high school students’ organized leadership workshop and also participated in Ice breaker games, Singing and dancing.
Founder of Chinmaya Niketan Dr Raghu Grandige concluded the ceremony
The program was a full day 9am to 5pm program. Initially 44 kids registered for the program but only 22 kids, 19 high school students and 3 college students could attend. Kids from Hindu, Buddhist and Christian faith participated in this program.
Overall this program presented an excellent opportunity for kids to voice their opinion about Bhutanese culture, challenges in school and families, discussion about identity.
The mission of Sewa International, a 501(c)(3) Hindu faith-based non-profit charity is to promote selfless service through its chapters in cities and towns across the United States.
To know more about Sewa International, please visit www.sewa-usa.org or find us on Facebook at Sewa International USA- Atlanta and join us in the good work.
Atlanta Celebrated Holi, the colorful Hindu festival which has people across the world digging their hands deep into heaps of colored powder, smearing friends, family and strangers with it, and filled with fun, music and masti, on Saturday, March 26 2016 at Pinckneyville park Norcross GA where a record number of about 3000 people gathered in-spite of bad weather.
“Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” The Sewa Team
Counsul General of India Mr. D V Singh addressing the attendees at SEWA Holi
Sewa International USA-Atlanta has been organizing this festival at the same park since 2005. Since last 11 years the gathering grew from 50+ to 3000+ people. Sewa International USA runs on the philosophy of, “Vasudhaiva kumtumbakam” where it is believed that the world is ONE family. Through this festival Sewa bring every culture, every religion, and every faith under one umbrella to celebrate the festival. This year Sewa partnered with other prominent organizations of Atlanta viz. IFA ,HSS, VHPA, Ekal Vidayala, Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Shiv Mandir, Rajasthan Association of Atlanta, Greater Atlanta Panjabi Society, Shiv Yog, Art of living, Isha, Indian Awareness Foundation, AIM for Seva etc to bring the community to celebrate this vibrant festival together under one roof.
A record number of about 3000 people attended SEWA Holi 2016 despite of bad weather
The morning on Saturday, March 26th 2016, was cloudy. While the weather report showed that it would be 65F, it started raining. The volunteers, who were prepping the ground for Holi, were a bit worried as it is an open event and it was a bit cold outside. The event started at 10 am with very few people walking into the park. However, by noon crowd started pouring in. DJ Yani (Shyam Brahmbhatt) kept the crowd on their toes with old and new hit dance numbers. Dance performances by NetIP, Northview high school dance team and others added energy to the event. The rain amid the celebration could not stop the enthusiastic crowd from having fun and they kept dancing with more energy. The team of sevikas (ladies volunteers) prepared delicious home food. “We feel so fortunate to be cooking and serving homemade food to the attendees" said Madhavi Gunasekaran the food coordinator for Sewa Holi for last two years. IFA team successfully managed the parking. All the parking lots were full and additional parking lot across from the park was used for the overflow. IFA team distributed free T shirts to the crowd. HSS, VHPA volunteers helped with Setup and logistics, Our Dholi Jazz's awesome performance engaged the crowd in an amazing way. The official photographer for the event Kiran Mudigonda did an awesome job clicking all the colors of this wonderful event that declares the arrival of spring.
Sewa Atlanta President Mr. Pratap Singh welcoming Mr. D V Singh.
The IFA Team handled the parking responsibility very efficiently. Thank you!!
The Chief Guest of the event was Consular General of India, Mr. DV Singh who graced the event with his daughter and her friends. In his address to the attendees Mr. Singh conveyed best wishes for Holi and said he is so glad to see the community celebrating together in such large number. Mr. Pratap Singh Chauhan, president of Sewa Atlanta Chapter, thanked Mr. DV Singh and said he was so happy to see people enjoying the event.
Happy & Colored faces. Sewa Holi 2016 – A family friendly event
Atlanta youth having lot of fun and masti at Sewa Holi 2016
The jubilant SEWA Holi 2016 Team after another successful event of the year. There are more to come.
Sewa International thanks all the collaborating organizations and the community for their participation and support in making Holi 2016 a big success and fun filled event. There was a huge following on Facebook, post event, with many mentions of “The largest color festival of Georgia”.
India Awareness Foundation, Sewa International USA and supporting organizations presented the Documentary film of “History of Yoga” and Lecture on “Yoga and Indian Civilization –its continuity and change” by Ramji Om and Dr Deepika Kothari on March 25, 2016 at Chinmaya Niketan, 5511 Williams Rd, Norcross, GA 30093.This event was offered as free service for people to connect with Roots of Yoga and its rich heritage. This event was hosted by IAF and Sewa International in Atlanta and other cities of the US.
Dhirendra Shah ji addressing the film makers
Close to 200 people attend the event
People Registering for DVD’s
In the present times Yoga has established itself as an effective alternative therapy across the world. Modern Masters are improvising and selling it with different brand names and even patenting them. It has become increasingly difficult to find authentic knowledge about Yoga; therefore it was decided to document the History and Philosophy of Yoga on film media. This is the first ever film in the world on History of Yoga.
The film HOY starts with Yoga of Patanjali as a unique technique for experiencing the mastery over senses and modifications of the mind. Patanjali is not the inventor of Yoga. The documentary also talks about the origination of yoga.
History is traced from the times of Harappa civilization. The story moves to explore the elements of Yoga in the times of Vedic, Jain, Buddhist periods and other doctrines. It takes you through the delightful journey of 3000 years of developmental history of Yoga up to the medieval ages.
Here the HathYogic practitioners show an intense human desire to conquer disease, aging and death through the Hathyogic practices. The film ends in 19th century where modern science acknowledges the potential of yoga in a new light.
To know more about the documentary film please check the link
The Director, Ramji Om and Producer cum co-director Dr Deepika Kothari also took an opportunity to answer questions related to “history of Yoga” film screening and on Yoga and Indian Civilization.
Special thanks to IAF, Chinmaya Niketan, Aim for Seva and VHPA for their additional contribution in facilitating and logistics.
Sewa (pronounced 'say wah') is a word in the Sanskrit language that translates to service above self, or memorably, Selfless Efforts for Welfare of All. The mission of Sewa International, a 501(c)(3) Hindu faith-based non-profit charity is to promote selfless service through its chapters in cities and towns across the United States.
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