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COVID-19: Sewa International Searches for Plasma Donors

10 Apr 2020 5:41 PM | Marketing Sewa (Administrator)
Houston, TX (April 9, 2020) – As the eight helplines operated by Sewa International continued to offer support and help to people calling from all over the country, the most immediate concern was to find plasma donors for four people who have contracted the coronavirus and whose families have sought the help of Sewa to find a matching plasma donor. All four patients are in critical condition. With Sewa's helpline and assistance, two patients received the first dose of plasma last week.

Sewa’s non-medical helplines have been busy receiving hundreds of calls a day seeking COVID-19 related information and requests for help. Sewa’s Houston Chapter alone received over 325 calls the first week of April.

As of April 2, Sewa International had distributed more than 25,000 masks; reached more than 50,000 people via social media updates and webinars; had more than 100 volunteers involved in making masks at home; and raised $310,000 toward COVID-19 support work. Through their unique community network building effort called “Sankalpa Patra” (Pledge of Service), Sewa International leadership had sought the involvement of other community organizations in combining and coordinating efforts to fight this pandemic. “Together we are stronger, we serve better,” said Prof. Sree Sreenath, President of Sewa International, commending the work of his colleagues who have been diligently reaching out to community organizations throughout the country to sign this pledge of service.

Sewa has a team of more than 50 doctors, therapists, attorneys, business, finance and employment consultants offering webinars for guidance to the community. Sewa has conducted 20 webinars since March 18, and three webinars are planned for this week: a webinar on April 8 by Prof. Jagdish Sheth, Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Business at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School on how small businesses can respond in this shutdown; a webinar by Aseem Mahajan, Consul General of India in Houston, TX on April 9, followed by a webinar on April 10 by Indian Consul General in Atlanta, Dr. Swati Kulkarni, on the support that the Indian Government is lending Indians stranded abroad or dealing with a variety of health, visa, student status and travel issues; and a webinar on April 12 by Dr. Sheetal Shah on how meditation can help people cope with anxiety during this crisis.

In Houston, over 1,400 meals have been served -- are served that averages about 100+ meals per day. The Atlanta team of Sewa volunteers donated more than 2000 masks to local fire departments, the Sherriff’s office in Cumming, GA, Gwinnett County Jail, the Northside Hospital, and to doctor’s offices. Reaching out to the community, these volunteers also served 200 meals to the healthcare staff at Northside Hospital, Dunwoody.

The helplines have been busy receiving calls from Indian students stranded in their university dorms, towns, and quick networking has enabled the volunteers to contact private individuals, Indian grocery stores, and motel owners who have donated generously to help these stranded students. “Let us act, and let our actions be of help to those who need support in these difficult times,” said Swadesh Katoch, Vice President for Disaster Recovery, who is based in Atlanta. “Our volunteers are busy stitching and making masks that can be used by ordinary citizens. We are donating them to people who call us asking for masks since they cannot find ordinary masks in any store, and they don’t know how to make these. Calling our helplines for these masks can help us send them to you,” he said.

“We still have a long haul ahead, and we do not know how this crisis will unfold over the next few weeks. People are confined to their homes, they are anxious, they are fearful, and many need help. We will do our best, and our dedicated volunteers will rise up to the occasion,” said Prof. Sree Sreenath.


About Sewa International

Sewa International, a leading 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. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, including a grant of $400,000 from the Houston Mayor’s Fund, and a $500,000 grant from the American Red Cross. Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and greenhouses, which serve as a means of livelihood. Sewa has also provided case management to affected families more than two years after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas. 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 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


Sewa International
P.O. Box 820867, Houston, Texas 77282-0867
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