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Volunteering Together for Service
VT Seva Houston volunteers at Autumn Leaves Old Age Home Dec 9th 2017
VT Seva Houston team adult and youth volunteers at Autumn Leaves Old age Home. Such a blissful experience spending time with old people reminding us of our time with our grand parents. Kudos to volunteers👏👏
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VT Seva Houston Hurricane Harvey fundraising Walkathon October 7th , 2017
VT Seva Houston successfully completed Hurricane Harvey Fund Raising Walkathon on Saturday Oct 7th, with over 150 participants. There was overwhelming response to this walkathon and so many people participated with their families to show their support for the Hurricane victims.
Event started with American National anthem, followed by speech from Guests of Honour Mr. Himesh Gandhi (Sugar Land City Council Member) and Dr. Renu Tamirisa.
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VT Seva Houston/Katy First Ever Cricket Tournament
VT SEVA houston/Katy chapter conducted first ever cricket tournament in Sugar Land, TX.
10 teams participated and it was a fun filled event with lot of participation not only from players but also their friends and families.
Sugarland Sunrisers are the winners of first VT SEVA Cricket championship and Tigers are the Runners up team.
The format of the tourney was liked by many teams and there were requests to conduct this frequently.
This event served as great platform to spread the awareness of VT service activities across the globe.
Lot of youngsters participated in the games and also helped us in volunteering.
The event was conducted on Sat July 8 and Sun July 9th from 7 am to 11 am at New Territory Sports Complex in Sugar Land, TX.
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May 20th, 2017 : VT Seva Houston volunteered in Houston Food Bank
VT SEVA Houston team volunteered at Houston Food Bank involving food sorting a team of 24 VT SEVA volunteers participated in this drive lead by Mr. Raj Bhatter VT Seva Houston chapter director.
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April 29th, 2017 : VT Seva Houston Volunteering at Houston Food Bank
VT Seva Houston team volunteered at Houston Food Bank
April 24, 2016 : Sandwich meal packing for 258 Children
VT Seva Houston and ALT did sandwich meal packing for 258 underprivileged pre-school children. We do weekly preparation of sandwich, fruit, granola bar, and 100% juice drink meals. We obtain all the supplies ourselves from donations and our amazing volunteers who come out each and every week.
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Feb 27, 2016 : Fun for a cause /VT seva event for Chennai relief fund
Fun for a Cause Chennai Relief event was the brainchild of Mrs.Latha Ravishankar with the only motive of raising funds for Chennai relief . Since VTSeva had already established a relief camp in Cuddalore and adopted the Killai village for rebuilding, Lathaji decided to work with VT Seva and direct the proceeds to VT Seva.
Along with dinner, this event consisted of local talented singers entertaining the local community with popular Bollywood songs in Hindi,Tamil, and Telugu for more than 2 hours . Along with the singers, a local dance school collaborated an interactive dance program where the audience joined with the dancers and enjoyed thoroughly and amused the rest with their dance moves.
The program was thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable for all ages. Core VTseva Houston volunteer Radhika SanamVenkata worked with Lathaji in co-ordinating the event and also presented a slideshow on VTseva activities in chennai during flood disaster and therafter adoption of killai village in cuddalore for rebuilding. She was directly there during the initial flooding and one of the first responders on the scene.
Houston VTseva Directors Sahitya Gadiraju and Ranga Kandala gave an introduction on VT Seva’s goal and vision and in particular ,the activities done towards Chennai relief fund. VTseva volunteers Bangar Aaloori helped us to arrange a successful banquet for the audience. VTseva volunteers Aruna Gorantla and our vTseva youth volunteers took the responsible positions to make the event successful. We had raised considerable amount of money for our Cuddalore rebuilding project. All the more important, is that VTseva Houston received a significant recognition among a new subset of the community.
Dec 20, 2015 : A:lo:k – Fundraising event for Tribal Schools
A:lo:k 2015, VT Seva Houston Chapter’s First Annual Gala, was a great success. This banquet-style event was held on the evening of December 20th at the Stafford Civic Center. Approximately 200 people were in attendance. A:lo:k 2015 featured "Saga of the Burmans", a music concert of the highest quality where wonderful melodies composed by SD and RD Burman were presented by professional singers with great repertoire. S. V. Rangan, BalajiTamirisa, S.V. Krishnan, KarthikaMahadev and Vishnu Rangan were the performers that enthralled the audience with their excellent singing. The Director and Narrator of the show was Mrs. Padma Rangan who mesmerized the audience with her excellent humor and was instrumental in presenting the show with great panache.
The event was also streamed live via internet and was witnessed by patrons living as far as Australia and India as well as various parts of United States.
The event was well attended by prominent individuals in the community and delegates from the Press and Media. VT Seva team from Dallas including the National Joint Secretary Mr. Krishna KanthVennamaneni’s presence at the event greatly inspired the organizers.
All proceeds raised from A:lo:k were directed towards supporting students at three Tribal schools in remote villages in India. $1 a day ($365 a year) would sustain one child's living, food and educational expenses for one year.
About $68,000 was raised to support over 185 students for One year. A:lo:k 2015, in addition to creating an opportunity for many tribal school students for a better future, also brought together an excellent team of dedicated VT Seva volunteers who worked very hard to bring this program to fruition. We look forward to A:LO:K 2016 with immense zeal
JUNE 21, 2015 : INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY
People all over the world celebrated “International Yoga day” on June 21st. Scientifically, June 21st is the day of Summer Solstice, when the planet’s axis is most inclined towards the star (earth and sun) that it orbits.
VT Seva Houston, along with the Consulate General of India, PatanjaliYogapeeth, and several other organizations in Houston joined together to organize a free event for all Houstonians. Over 2000 people attended the event. There were live routines on stage, public lectures, mass yoga sessions, individual yoga sessions, and several booths.
VT Seva had a booth in this event where there was a huge turnout. Swamji had previously held a summer camp and created a packet with all the benefits of yoga and yoga poses. The volunteers during Yoga day handed this packet over to people by walking around and the people visiting our booth. The young volunteers (middle and high school kids) did an excellent job bringing people to the VT Seva booth and explaining the different types of yoga and asanas. They even came up with a wheel board game by asking yoga related questions and giving out candy, as well as ceramic coffee cups and bags with the VT Seva logo on it. That helped to draw a huge crowd to our booth. It was a diverse group from all over Houston and they were very interested in knowing about VT Seva. With the help of young and adult volunteers we were able to promote VT Seva and the health aspects through yoga.
Project Name: KIDSVIKAS HOUSTONALT
Every day in Houston, 1 in 4 pre-school children aged 5 and under are wondering where their next meal is coming from and they live unsure if they will have food that day. Here at VT Seva Houston, we have made it our mission to be part of the fight to end hunger and bring hope to those facing starvation due to abject poverty. These kids are our future, and our hope for a brighter world and we must provide them every resource to thrive.
VT Seva Houston has joined hands with Kids’ Meals, a non-profit organization here in Houston that delivers free, healthy meals every weekday, year round to the homes of Houston’s hungriest preschool-aged children. We started the project in October 2015, initially packing 150 sandwich meals every other week, and have now grown to packing approximately 250 sandwich meals every week for Houston’s youngest hungriest faces. The project has grown in support and we have now labeled it KIDSVIKAS HOUSTONALT.
A meal consists of a peanut butter and jam sandwich with healthy whole wheat bread, a 100% juice drink, an orange, and a granola bar. It costs approximately $500 per week to pack these meals for 250 children. This includes all packing supplies as well as all ingredients for the actual meal. We believe in ensuring only quality ingredients go into this meal along with love and hope.
Oct 20, 2013 : VT Seva organizes Holiday collection drive to benefit local charity
In the month of November, VT Seva Houston conducted a collection drive and donated food, toys, and clothing to the City Wide Club of Clubs, a local organization that provides social services to those in need.
Thanks to the generous donations and contributions of the community, a substantial amount of all items were delivered just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. In addition to toys, clothes, and winter wear, VT Seva Houston donated about 500 lbs of necessary food items.
The City Wide Clubs of Clubs sent a letter of recognition and appreciation to VT Seva for the contributions made!
Oct 20, 2013 : VT Seva, Houston organizes awareness lecture on Breast Health
VT Seva and the Indo-American Cancer Association Network (IACAN) joined hands to present “Breast Health 101: Prevent Breast Cancer or Detect It Early”. The event was organized at the Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple in Sugar Land was well attended. Ms. Kanchan Kabbad, President of IACAN, introduced IACAN and its work. This was followed by a presentation on VT Seva and its global activities by Dr. Aparna Tamirisa, VT Seva member. The Panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Julie Nangia, a breast oncologist and Assistant Professor of Oncology at the Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Tamara Ortiz-Perez, an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the Baylor College of Medicine, presented a comprehensive talk on the different breast radiologic techniques and their role in early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. Following this, the risk factors, prevalence trends, and treatment modalities for breast cancer were presented very succinctly and effectively by Dr. Polly Niravath, breast oncologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology at the Baylor College of Medicine.
The presentations were followed by a video and talk by Mrs. Mona Bangia, a breast cancer survivor. Ms. Bangia gave a very moving account of her challenges when diagnosed with breast cancer.
Following the presentations was an interactive question and answer session with the panel physicians in which the audience took an active part. A vote of thanks was given by IACAN board member Sarvesh Bhavaraju on behalf of VT Seva and IACAN, and the speakers were presented with a token of appreciation from both organizations. All in all, this proved to be a very effective and informative session for all attendees. VT Seva and IACAN intend to partner together and conduct many more such interactive programs for the education of the public on healthier living and early detection and treatment of common cancers.
For more photos from the event, please click here
Sep 28, 2013 : VT Seva, Houston organizes 5K walk and Environmental Fair
On the misty morning of Septmber 28th at the Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land, the stage was set for the United Ecoskies VT Seva 5K Walk.
As registrants rolled in, VT Seva members Satya Pappu, Sahitya Gadiraju and team were busy at the registration booth signing in participants. The morning started off with energetic music from the DJ and encouraging remarks from event emcee and VT Seva volunteer Nina Tamirisa to get all the participants ready for the walk ahead. This was followed by the opening of ceremonies by Sugar Land councilman Mr. Harish Jajoo who spoke very inspiring words about the environment and our role in maintaining a healthy and clean environment for all.
Dr. Ranga Kandala, VT Seva Co-branch Director, presented a plaque to Mr. Jajoo on behalf of VT Seva in recognition of his support of the event and the organization. Mr. Jajoo in fact declared that the 5K walk would be an annual affair for the public. After Mr. Jajoo’s rousing speech, United Airlines’ Senior Environmental Specialist Mr. Michael Cotter spoke about the event and the United Ecoskies program. Dr. Sahitya Gadiraju, VT Seva Co-Branch Director, presented a plaque to Mr. Cotter on behalf of VT Seva in recognition of United Ecoskies’ commitment towards the community and the environment. VT Seva volunteers Radhika Sanamvenkata, Shashi Sanamvenkata, Aruna Gorantla and team who were the United employees responsible for helping obtain the United Ecoskies grant were also recognized on stage. ABC 13 news was on-site and they had interviews with both Mr. Jajoo and VT Seva Houston member Aparna Tamirisa as well as footage of the walkers in action.
Walkers who completed the course were welcomed back to the main field with more energetic music and fun. There were environmental-based games, a snow cone machine, and activities on-site for children. Meanwhile, Bollywood Shake, a Bollywood Dance company, came to the event. Students from the company performed lively numbers for the audience. This was followed by an audience participation Bollywood Dance workshop for the walkers and event participants.
Hats off to the VT Seva volunteers Vijay Jilledimudi, Raj Vakulabharanam and family, and Ravi Kotnis who managed the facilities for the entire event. Ms. Sobha and Dr. Prasad Gadiraju along with their team handled the food and concessions for all event participants. We are of course very thankful of the efforts of all of the VT Seva youth volunteers and to Mr. Cotter and his team from United who came forward and volunteered to make this a great event!
Though the rain came off and on, spirits were high and all who came to the event left with the satisfaction that they got some great exercise and participated in an event dedicated towards the good of the environment.
For more photos from the event, please click here
April 6, 2013 : Monthly Health Education Series - Cancer Prevention and Screening
As part of the Monthly Health Education series, VT Seva organized a lecture on Cancer Prevention and Screening. Dr Ronjay Rakkhit, a famous oncologist, educated the audience about the various trends in cancer and the most common cancers among men and women. Dr Rakkhit instructed the audience about various symptoms they need to watch for and the timely tests they should undergo for cancer screening. He also gave the audience some life style tips to keep cancer at bay.
Ms Kusum Vyas, founder of The Living Planet Foundation, was invited as the chief guest for the seminar. She congratulated VT Seva, Houston on all the wonderful work that the organization is doing towards promoting volunteerism in the community.
The seminar was very well-received by one and all who looked forward to future medical seminars. For more photos from the event, please click here
March 9, 2013 : Food Fair at the East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry
Bright and early on a Saturday morning, thirteen Prajna students and VT SEVA youth volunteers along with several parents participated in a Food Fair benefitting those in financial crisis. Basic food items were packed and delivered to families by volunteers. The youth were quite busy and happy about being able to serve the community.
There was much enthusiasm from the youth and adult volunteers about continuing such service to the community in the future! For more photos from the event, please click here
March 3, 2013 : Introduction of VT SEVA to Prajna Houston students
On March 3, 2013 Prajna Houston coordinators officially initiated VT SEVA into its regular curriculum for Prajna students. During this first session VT SEVA Houston volunteers were at the Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple to speak with all students from Prajna Modules 3 through 5 about VT SEVA.
The session began with an introduction to the organization. Students were asked about what "service" meant to them with several enthusiastic replies. VT SEVA volunteers spoke about the importance of contributing by helping at home, service to their schools and temples, and service to the community at large. This was followed by a video on VT SEVA and its various service activities which was very well received by Prajna students and parents. Students and parents were informed about registering for the President Volunteer Service Award.
The session ended with a fun game about various VT SEVA activities in which all the students participated with great zeal. Once a month VT SEVA will have a session during Prajna classes discussing various topics pertaining to VT SEVA's four main pillars. VT SEVA Houston will also be conducting a monthly community service activity for Prajna students to participate. It was great to see that Prajna students and parents alike are all ready to raise a helping hand towards the community!
March 2, 2013 : Monthly Health Education Series - Success without stress
On March 2nd, the second of the Monthly Health Education series took place. Mr. Vivek Rajan, Art of Living foundation teacher, spoke with the audience about managing stress through breathing and meditative techniques as well as the proper perspective on stress in our daily lives. Mr. Rajan instructed on three breathing techniques, each with its unique effect--whether it be increasing our energy levels or calming the mind.
The seminar was very well-received by one and all who looked forward to future medical seminars. For more photos from the event, please click here
Feb 2, 2013 : Monthly Health Education Series - Weight Management and Nutrition--A Medical and Holistic Approach
VT SEVA Houston has initiated a Monthly Health Education Series which occurs on the first Saturday of each month. Our first of the series on February 2, 2013 was a seminar on weight management and nutrition from the medical and holistic perspectives.
The seminar began with a very informative talk by Dr. Srinivasachary Tamirisa, M.D., F.A.C.O.G a well-known OB/Gyn to the community who discussed the topic of hormonal interplay in weight control. This was followed by a thought-provoking talk by Intergrative Medicine Practitioner Dr. Richarita Gundlapalli who spoke about a holistic approach to nutrition and weight management. Finally, Dr. Deepa Vasudevan, family practitioner and Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Houston Medical School, gave a very enlightening talk on weight and health implications.
Informational brochures regarding various topics in weight management such as maintaining a healthy diet, calorie counting, blood glucose testing and diabetes control were displayed for the audience to take with them. A representative from Novamax, manufacturer of blood glucose monitors, was present with several informational brochures on diet and diabetes as well as free blood glucose monitors for all. The talks were followed by a question and answer session for the audience. The seminar was well attended with much interest and enthusiasm from the attendees.
The physician speakers were then recognized by VT SEVA volunteers with the presentation of certificates of appreciation. VT SEVA thanks the board members of Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple for graciously providing the venue for this series. For more photos from the event, please click here
Nov 17, 2012 : Hurrincane Sandy Flood Relief
With a deep sense of urge, Houston VT SEVA volunteers rallied together to hold a relief effort to raise money for victims in need. Many volunteers and donors had personal connections as family and friends in the northeast were affected by the storm. The event was held at the Ashthalakshmi Temple Diwali Raas-Garba event.
A booth was set up with posters and volunteers talked to the attendees about the disastrous impact of the storm and the different areas of need. The funds raised were donated to the American Red Cross.
Nov 17, 2012 : VT Seva volunteers sort food supplies at Food Bank
While most children were out enjoying the unusually warm weather in the month of November, several Houston VT SEVA volunteers were working hard sorting out donated food supplies at the East FortBend Human Needs Ministry.
Close to the holidays, there were a surplus of boxes, and one by one they were meticulously sorted out by type of product and date. The volunteers really enjoyed themselves knowing that their physical efforts went to helping those in need. For more photos from the event, please click here
Nov 10, 2012 : VT Seva volunteers Spread Awareness
On the evening of November 10, 2012 a crowd of more than 7000 people gathered for the ZEE Music Masala Diwali Mela in Sugar Land, Texas. The VT SEVA Houston Chapter arranged for a table at the event.
While some VT SEVA volunteers were working together to educate passersby about VT SEVA and its activities, other volunteers were conducting fun-filled games and activities with prizes. Many stopped by to learn about VT SEVA and sign up to become volunteers. Table volunteers were of all ages with students from middle school and high school to adult volunteers. It proved to be great fun for all!!! We look forward to many such events in the future working together for a wonderful cause. For more photos from the event, please click here
APRIL 22, 2012 : Earth Day 2012: Nurturing Plants, Earthday Quizzes & more
On a warm, sunny day in Houston VT SEVA volunteers and Houston's Prajna children assembled for Earth Day Activities at the Sri Asthalakshmi Temple. About 100 children and adults gathered together to participate in Earth Day activities. The event began with an introduction to the Earth Day Program by Master of Ceremonies and VT SEVA Co-Branch Director Ranga Kandala. This was followed by a presentation on VT SEVA by Co-Branch Director Sahitya Gadiraju. VT SEVA volunteer Aparna Tamirisa then spoke about the history and significance of Earth Day and conducted a series of Earth Day quizzes with prizes for the children. The program concluded with a speech by VT SEVA Webmaster Vijay Jilledimudi where he introduced the next activity of the day, the Nurture-a-Plant Program. He also introduced all attendess to the VT SEVA Adopt-a-Street Program and invited everyone to join VT SEVA Houston's summer activities.
As part of the Nurture-a-Plant program kids brought pots to plant vegetable and flower seeds. The soil and seeds were provided by VT SEVA. This program was very well received with great enthusiasm from the children and parents. The idea of the Nurture-a Plant Program is for the children and their families to nurture their plant to maturity with the eventual goal of creating a VT SEVA greenhouse.
Oct 16th 2011 : Run with the Bulls - 5K Run for Netra Vidyalaya
On a bright and early Sunday morning VT Seva, Houston joined 3500 runners and 1000 spectators in a 5K run, hosted by The Houston Texans and The Methodist Hospital - everyone raising money for their own causes. Thanks to your efforts, the VT Seva Houston chapter was able to reach its goal of $20,000 raised (with some extra dollars to spare). The funds will be used towards schools for the visually impaired and towards obtaining a permanent mobile diagnostic laboratory - Two of the main areas VT Seva focuses on. The Houston chapter of VT Seva also continues to support charity efforts here in Houston.
We have many projects planned for the future and we hope to count on your continued support. Together, we can achieve a better life for all!