THE Holiday Season provides a great opportunity for diverse communities to come together to make Christmas special for hundreds of families. A fantastic example of communities coming together is the Toys for Kids campaign by the Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen and Sikh Academy Elementary, who are rallying the Sikh community once again to collect and donate toys for children in need this Christmas. Toys collected in this campaign will directly benefit families supported by The Salvation Army, The Lower Mainland Purpose Society for Youth and Family, and New Westminster Family Place.
“Sikhs believe in “Sarbat Da Bhala”, meaning caring for all,” says Paul Singh Hundle with Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen. “It’s important during the Christmas season, to think of those less fortunate and make their Christmas much brighter”.
“New Westminster Family Place is very appreciative of the lovely toys that we receive from you for our families”, says Marjorie Staal, Executive Director of New Westminster Family Place. “Our parents are overwhelmed by the quality of the toys that come.”
Over the last several weeks, donors and volunteers have been collecting toys at various Sikh Temples in the Metro Vancouver area. All the toys have been transported to the gymnasium at Sikh Academy in Surrey, where volunteers will gift-wrap 5,000 toys on Sunday, December 10.
The annual Toys for Kids campaign has donated over 20,000 toys over the last six years, providing thousands of families the opportunity to have a more enjoyable Christmas.
Location: Sikh Academy Newton Elementary School, 12895 85th Avenue, Surrey
Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen operates monthly, weekly and special programs during the year, serving 3,500 meals every month, along with donating clothing and other items to residents in need who live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
The practice of langar – the communal kitchen and seva – the selfless service of humanity; philosophies taught by the first Guru, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji many hundreds of years ago. For the Sikh community, this project is not missionary in nature, instead it is an opportunity for them to extend this true Sikh spirit of helping those in need regardless of caste, colour, creed, and economic status.
Sikh Academy Elementary, established in 2008, is a fully accredited day school offering innovative K through grade 7 programs. The school was opened in memory of the late Jasbir (Jesse) Singh Dhindsa, son of the school’s founder and chairman Hakam Singh Dhindsa.
Salvation Army is an international Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible; its ministry is motivated by love for God and the needs of humanity. The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world.
The Lower Mainland Purpose Society for Youth and Family is a non-profit social service agency whose mission is to deliver a continuum of social, health, educational and residential services. These services are designed for individuals, youth and families, who are subject to personal and/or societal distress, marginalization and alienation.
New Westminster Family Place is a family resource program for families with children from newborn to five years old. Our philosophy focuses on providing services for families. New Westminster Family Place was opened in 1989 after 3 years of planning and fundraising with the help of the Public Health Unit and the Interagency Committee. This service was seen as necessary to the community, providing support services to isolated families with young children.
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