May 7th, 2017 : VT Seva New Jersey supporting Trenton Soup Kitchen :
We all got together at the Jeeyar Asramam and prepared the Brown Bag lunches to be delivered to the Trenton Soup Kitchen. We prepared a total of 168 Brown Bag lunches in about two hours.
This has been the third month that we have done this successfully. Anya's parents Neelima and Ajay Kasuganti will be delivering the sandwiches to the soup kitchen.
for more pictures click here
April 29th , 2017 : Vasantham : VT Seva New Jersey Annual Event
VT Seva New Jersey team organized annual event Vasantham.
for pictures click here
April 2nd , 2017 : VT Seva New Jersey supporting Trenton Soup Kitchen :
VT Seva New Jersey , we had 13 volunteers who packed 115 Brown Bag Lunches to be donated to the Trenton Soup Kitchen over a period of 2 hours. Mr. Sagar will be delivering these brown bag lunches to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen Thank you to all the volunteers for your time and effort.
for pictures click here
April 2nd , 2017 : VT Seva New Jersey team participated in Autism Awareness Walk :
VT Seva New Jersey team , In Edison, Ms. Jamuna and a few VTSEVA volunteers from JP Stevens high school participated in Autism Awareness walk conducted by "NJ Autism group"
for pictures click here
March 5th , 2017 : VT Seva New Jersey supporting Trenton Soup Kitchen :
VT Seva New Jersey started the "Brown Bag Lunch" packing and delivery program at the JeeyarAsramam. With the help and contributions of our volunteers we packed 160 lunch bags in a matter of two and half hours. Mr. Sagar will be delivering these brown bag lunches to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen Thank you to all the volunteers for your time and effort.
for more picture click here
Volunteers Partake In Red Cross Blood Drive
On Sunday, July 19th, 2015, an American Red Cross blood drive was conducted at the Jeeyar Asramam in Cranbury. Our young VT Seva volunteers took part in this endeavor and helped make it a success. Red Cross sent a large ambulance bus with advanced facilities to draw and store the blood. A blood donor would go to the registration desk of our young and dynamic volunteers to sign in, either for their predetermined appointment or for a walk-in. From there, they would walk to the well-conditioned Red Cross bus, where kind veteran nurses would assist them through the process of drawing a pint of blood. Afterwards, they would be given energizing refreshments by our young volunteers.
For each pint of blood donated, an entire 3 lives could be supported. About 19 pints of blood were collected, thus being able to serve 57 people. Thanks to the campaigning efforts of VT Seva and one young volunteer in particular, this many people were able to donate. Shri Srinivasan is an upcoming junior in high school who decided to donate her summertime into organizing and conducting this blood drive, with the sole purpose of being able to make a difference in the lives of people suffering from blood problem. Thinking about the welfare of others, she executed this event with passion and helped set an example for other upcoming young volunteers about implementing the idea of service. Shri expressed her sincere joy for the number of people that were able to give 15 minutes of their time and donate, and is determined along with the other VT Seva volunteers to do more service events in the future.
For more photos from the event, click here
Giving Back To Our Community
Since the beginning of October 2014, young volunteers have gone to the Jeeyar Community Center to clean-up and organize the buildings. Every Sunday, these dynamic youngsters give up two hours of their time to clean, organize, and vacuum the community center. They readily give back to their community, and at the same time are cleaning up the environment around to make the center a welcoming place for all.
A colleague of one of the volunteers was making many selfless attempts to try and collect clothing and medical supplies to send to his native village in Ukraine. Here is some more info, said by him, on what was happening:
As a quick background, due to the military situation in the eastern part of Ukraine there are literally millions of refugees who had to relocate to other parts of the country where situation is “stable” at the moment. Due to a very limited support from the government most of these people rely on the help of volunteers who organize shelters, food, clothing, etc. Many shelters have newborns, kids of various age, lots of disabled children and adults. It so happened I have friends who directly involved in curating few of such shelters around my home town Kyiv… this is my personal ongoing effort in trying to help those volunteers, this is not an “official business”. We send packages “by sea” as they fill in and it takes about a month to get there.”
VT Seva NJ thought it could lend a hand. Within a mere week, VT Seva collected over a thousand pounds of bags of clothing that are enough to supplymany refugees. The benevolent man was overjoyed, and now many deserving victims can receive their necessities. The clothing was collected the week of April 13th, 2015, and is to be directly delivered to the village.
Vasantham 2014- Empowering the Youth
After one month of speedy and diligent preparations, the VT Seva youth team of New Jersey pulled off our amazing Vasantham event on May 18, 2014! The Vasantham is an annual event for VT Seva NJ that started in 2012. The Vasantham allows our youth to take part in fundraising and gets them to be involved in their communities. All of the funds that are collected are specifically donated to our schools in India to improve them.To make things interesting, volunteers in their high school/ college years were asked to be MCs for the event (no adults!). In between performances, our high schoolers gave small presentations about the different pillars of VT Seva. Also since many of them have been with VT Seva NJ since its inception in 2009 and have visited the different schools in India, many of them shared their wonderful experiences with the audience to get them interested in the organization.The MCs worked hard and met every weekend before the event to perfect their presentations and memorize their scripts. VT Seva NJ recognizes our four main MCs, who did an awesome job of running the show that day: Akshith Ramadugu, Mounica Thota, Rasagnya Kota, and Srilaya Bhavaraju.
In addition to our volunteers MCing, the participants of the event did a wonderful job in their performances, and were able to see conspicuously how their performance served our tribal schools and visually challenged schools in India. Everyone had a great time and to top it all off, our benevolent CEO HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji was the keynote speaker.
Swamiji was very happy with all of the high school MCs and the participants of the show, and hopes that in the future many more youngsters will participate in beneficial events such as the Vasantham. In His inspiring speech, Swamiji talked about the crucial difference between “helping” and “service”. When we say that we “help” someone, we expect them to do something for us in return. Helping a person means that we put ourselves in a higher position than the one in trouble, and so therefore we help them to somewhat show off our authority and “benevolence”. When “helping” people, it is not out of a necessity, but just because we think we are in a better position than the person we are trying to support, we give them that support. However, Swamiji emphasized how we are supposed to serve people. To “serve” means assisting one another as a family member would do; not out of the goodness of our heart, but because we are connected to them and it is our duty to support them. It is our duty to serve people in tough positions as fellow human beings, and since it is our job we should not expect any sort of reward in return. As a mother does not expect a trophy for everything she does in our life, we should not expect any recognition in serving our fellow beings. Rewards and such come by themselves, but the foremost thing to do is our job. In all the efforts of the volunteers, we were able to raise enough funds to support 100 tribal students. All of the volunteers were happy to gain new knowledge and experiences, and were happy to serve their tribal and visually challenged friends in India by raising funds for their education. A job well done in our 3rd Vasantham!
A special thanks to all of our diligent youth volunteers that emceed for the event:
Tribal Schools and Bone Marrow Drive: Srilaya Bhavaraju; Anusha Gunti; Murali Gunti; Sriya Vudata
Care On Wheels Project: Akshith Ramadugu; Harika Penematcha ; Ruchika Moturi ;Rahul Sirikonda
Schools for the Visually Challenged Sanjana Chapyala; Vamshi Eppanapally ;Sanjana Duggirala ;
Neha Annapureddy ; Rasagnya Kota
Healthcare and JIMS Hospital Vidisha Naini; Shubha Kapuganti;Shivani Rao ; Hemanshu Uppalapati ; Sujay Busarajan
VT Seva US Activities: Suhrudh Daaram; Rasagnya Kota
For more pictures from the event, click here
Food Drive Sorting at Local Church 2013
The youth team of VT Seva NJ gathered at the Cranbury Church on November 15 2013, to help the volunteers there sort out all of the generous food donations that were given for Thanksgiving. Rather than spend their Sunday treasuring their freetime, our youth volunteers pitched in with the volunteers of the church and was able to make a difference. The volume of donations was rather large, but the volunteers at the church were thankful for the help of our young volunteers for swiftly working, and cutting down the amount of time it would have taken. Our young volunteers enjoyed the work , and are looking forward to participating next time as well.
On Sunday October 27 2013, the young volunteers of VT Seva New Jersey planned and participated in a 5K walkathon, to help support the Netra Vidyalaya school for the visually challenged. The youth team diligently and energetically participated in the walkathon and gave 101% of their spirit to conduct a successful event.
The walkathon took place at Etra Lake Park in East Windsor, NJ. The youth team was also given the challenge to raise the most funds in their neighborhood. Everyone gladly pitched in and went around their neighborhood over the weekend, spending their time doing a benevolent act rather than taking advantage of a work-free weekend.
All of the young volunteers managed to not only collect a generous amount of funds, but also managed to spread awareness about VT Seva in their community. Not only did they collect the funds for the walkathon, but they worked hard on the posters and slogans that were used in the walk. Some of the more excited youngsters participated in the running race.
Thanks to the hard work of the young team of volunteers, the event was conducted successfully, and received positive feedback from the participants of the walkathon. The youngsters had much fun, and got more educated on social service activities that they can conduct themselves.
Vasantham: Spring of Joy and Hope
On Saturday June 15th 2013, the VT Seva NJ team organized its 2nd annual fundraising cultural event Vasantham at Madison High School in Madison, New Jersey. The event was organized by the younger generation of VT Seva volunteers in Parsippany, NJ. They raised awareness about the service activities done by VT Seva in local communities, the ongoing projects done to help those in need, and they also persuaded other youngsters to take a part in community services. With the help of their parents and 15 other adult volunteers, the team was able to conduct the event successfully to raise money for the education of the visually challenged students of Nethra Vidyalaya in Shamshabad, Hyderabad in India. The event was a great example of youth volunteerism, with more than 200 young performers volunteering their time and talent (dance and music) to raise funds for this noble cause.
Vasantham lived to its name: spring of hope and joy. The goal was raise at least $50,000. Thanks to the efforts and diligence of Anjani Polasani, Krupali Bandi and their team (who encouraged young volunteers to take the initiative to run the event), they were able to reach the goal with ease.
The program began with a peace prayer by young children and was followed by the US National Anthem. The dance [vasantham-340_small] academies Kalashri School of Arts, Shubanjali School of Performing Arts and Kuchipudi Art Academy gave scintillating performances. Ms. Keertana Annamaneni sang a very inspirational song while pictures of the accomplishments of the visually challenged and of VT Seva were displayed in a slideshow. Kolaatam, an Andhra folk dance, was performed by Baldwin Manor and Mazdabrook Commons ladies. Then, the School of Indian Classical Music gave a wonderful and soothing musical performance. The program was unbelievable and appreciated by everyone, and kept them on the edge of their seats till the end.
The founder and CEO of VT Seva, His Holiness Sri Chinna Jeear Swamiji, greatly appreciated the team, especially the younger generation, for their efforts and hard work that were put into this event. As VT Seva’s mission is “to promote understanding and tolerance in society by empowering our youth with the value of volunteering and philanthropy”, Swamiji was grateful that the event was thanks to the efforts of the young volunteers.
The pictures and videos that were presented moved the audience and gave more insight on VT Seva activities, and how they can benefit the underprivileged with their support and contributions. The video snippet of one of our students, Parmeshwar Rao from Nethra Vidyalaya, on the program “Paadutha Theeyaga” (one of the vocal music competitions on a popular Telugu channel) made every attendee give a standing ovation.
Testimonials from Dance Schools –
“I am so glad everything went very well and our kids thoroughly enjoyed the program and were very happy to be part of this noble cause. Keep up the great mission. You will always have our support.”
-Ms. Suba Parmar , Shubanjali School of Performing Arts
"I want to thank the organization for giving us an opportunity to perform at your event. I have to congratulate all of you for organizing such a beautiful event.”
– Ms. Swathi, Gundapuneedi Kuchipudi Art Academy
“Thank you for having us yesterday at the fund raiser, we immensely enjoyed the whole event. It was well organized and we are happy to be part of this noble cause”
– Mr. Anil Khare, TAALSADHANA – School of Indian Classical Music
“We participated with over 80 classical dancers in VT Seva fundraising event and it raised 50k in few hours benefitting Colleges for Blind in Andhra Pradesh. We felt like a divine power guiding us through the event.”
– Ms. Bina Menon, Kalashri School of Arts
“Lastly … just want to mention one observation … I felt the organizers were very nice. I have been to so many programs. No one ever kept water bottles in the makeup room for the participants. Though it is a small thing … it is such a good gesture. They were very courteous throughout. Felt good being part of the program. Please thank them when you talk to them next time.”
– One of the parents of a performer
VT Seva – NJ partnered with the Food bank of New Jersey [sandy1] on Nov 11 to help the victims of hurricane sandy. We went to their warehouse where the food cans were stacked floor to ceiling; donations of food and money were made by people and corporations all over USA. The only thing left to be done was to get them to the victims. This is where we helped out. As soon as our group of 35 people was formed (14 of us were VT seva); they allocated all the heavy lifting to the boys of VT seva. They were in charge of searching and lifting the heavy packed cans and putting them on the tables. Then the rest of us put in cans of spaghetti sauce, sweet corn, pasta etc., into each of the boxes. Each box held 18 cans of non- perishable food. We made 547 disaster relief boxes that convert to 9000 meals for the people in affected areas.
“What do we do? – We feed New Jersey” This was the slogan we said while working.
Red Cross Nov 18: Volunteers of the Red Cross were making disaster relief packages for Victims of sandy. VT Seva – NJ worked with Red Cross to sort warm clothes for little kids. There were 12 of us from VT Seva and about 30 people in our group. There were a lot of kids coats all mixed up and we were sorting them according to ages. Then they would go in to packages according to age and be given to the kids. It was very humbling to see that although we had suffered a huge loss everyone was coming together to help out those in need.
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VT Seva New Jersey, in the presence of Sri Ahobila Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji, had a fruitful meeting on August 5th with the victims of the fire that occurred in the Woodbridge Village apartment complex in Woodbridge, N.J. We are happy to announce that VT Seva, along with Sri Sri Ahobila Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji, were well received by the victims and the interaction with them was very successful.
Sri Ahobila Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji spoke words of encouragement and hope to the victims. He expressed empathy and sorrow for the loss of the victims, yet he also noted that a greater catastrophe was averted: loss of life. Ultimately, he said, material possessions can be recovered, but life cannot be. He expressed that he genuinely felt the victims would come back from this disaster stronger than before, and rebound into a prosperous life within short time. He advised them not to become pessimistic, and conveyed his belief that he had full faith in their strength and courage. Nothing could convey the ethos of VT Seva better than Swamiji’s own encouragement of the victims.
The names of the victims’ families were called out one-by-one and $300.00 were given to each. The victims were grateful for the contribution made by VT Seva. They received it with dignity, and appreciated the support very much. Several of the victims were also given a chance to convey their feelings about the disaster and the aftermath, and many did take the opportunity to do so. It was heart warming to see that they had not lost hope and were recovering each in their own way, by taking steps in the direction of normalcy and recovery. The team concluded with the message that VT Seva is ready and willing to assist the victims in their negotiations with the Community’s Management about the next phase of their lives, specifically the issues of their destroyed residences and possessions. The meeting ended on that positive note, with the hope that VT Seva will be able to effect a positive outcome for the victims in their transition.
Because of You, We Serve.
Because of You, We Empower.
Because of You, We Save Lives.
Because of You, We Don't Give Up!
Your Support is Our Strength to Serve!
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Volunteering Together for Service