VT Seva, Greenville
We moved to Greenville in Dec 2008. Initially when we moved to Greenvilee from NJ, we thought we came to a village in US and there would be few Indians here. After talking to people around to our surprise we realized that there are around 450 Indian families in and around greater Greenville and there is a Vedic Center in Greenville. We also came to know that a sizable telugu community exists in Greenville. But to our surprise very few people knew about Swamiji, it seemed as if the Glass was half full.
Luckily between December to March lot of Indian community activities are lined up like Anand Bazar, Day with India , Ugadi festivities etc. One of my colleagues (Nath) is an active member in IAGG (Indian Association of Greater Greenville) and I approached him to check if I can put a stall during Anand Bazar to introduce our Indian community towards JET and our philanthropic work. It was a great success and many parents were happy that such great things are done by our organization and they agreed to support in what ever manner it’s possible, especially Mr and Mrs Gopal.
Looking at the enthusiasm from many parents, I requested IAGG president Mr. Subhash if we can use Vedic center to have a session on VT Seva and he readily agreed. Mrs Mythili Gopal agreed to coordinate for the session and send mails out to all families in greenville. March 15, Dr Vinatha Pasaru was very supportive and they drove almost 3 hrs to Greenville to give presentation and motivational talk on VTSeva. During presentation 15 kids and their parents came and to everyone’s surprise almost all were boys.
To keep the enthusiasm going we decided to put a stall during “Day with India” program, which is held once in 2 years to introduce India to Americans. This was a very good opportunity for us to introduce to people about VT Seva and few kids volunteered with me in the stall and were a great help. As they say all great journeys’ start with the first step and I am proud to say that we have taken the first Giant leap in Greenville
On April 12 we had our fist VTSeva volunteer meeting and it was a great success. Lot of new ideas came up and were debated. Agenda for the first year was set.
Ram Prasad Yamijala, VtSeva Director, Greenville.
VT Seva, Houston
In the past few months we, the Katy Youth Group, have started to get more involved with the activities and procedures of VT Seva. Our volunteers take an active part in what goes around in our area. Many have given wonderful and affective ideas to collect donations for the organization. So far, we have started a few projects that are yet to be completed over the course of time. The group has collected funds through a spare change drive.
Some of the volunteers have set up boxes around various areas around the city asking generous Houstonians to donate a few of their old eyeglasses to the less fortunate. We have just recently acquired this project.
In due time the group will hopefully round up at least a decent amount of eyeglasses to send back home. We believe that even if we collect only a few eyeglasses, the important thing is that we will help those few people instead of no one. In the future we plan to collect more money through fundraisers or by asking for donations from local business owners. The main goal of the VT Seva Katy Youth Group is to make at least a small impact on those less fortunate. Our motto is that a little help goes a long way in the hearts of those who are in need of it most. We want to continue being an active part of VT Seva not only to help the needy, but also to encourage others to do their part for the betterment of their society. By actively participating in VT Seva, the volunteers have learned many new qualities for life, such as new leadership skills, cooperation with fellow members, and many more valuable lessons. Each and everyday, we continue to learn more and more about the true meaning of the word “SEVA.”
Our group consists of Rohan Moharir, Alissa Arya, Vaishnavi Dusi, Abhishek Garg, Pratyush Mamidana, Aman Jaiswal, Raj Magesh, and Sanjana Palla. These are the dedicated volunteers who have contributed to the penny drive, which took place recently. The future plans for our group are e-mailing local business owners for donations in February, hosting a garage sale in March, and finish collecting eyeglasses to send back to India. We have been relatively successful so far in the Penny Drive, collecting about $80.00.
All the Katy VTSeva members met on 20thFeb. They came up with their schedule for the coming months.
March 2009- Samosa sale at Local Farmers Market
April 2009 - Garage Sale
May 2009 - Car wash
Till now they collected around 50 eye glasses and funds about $210. Eye glass collection and penny drive is still going on.
VT Seva, Boston and Susan G Komen for the Cure – Breast Cancer Awareness Stall
January 24, 2009
VT Seva, Boston set up it’s breast cancer awareness stall and snack stall at a cultural event organized by TAGB on January 24th. The stalls generated lot of enthusiasm in the community. Over 800 people attended the cultural event. The volunteers shared the brochures provided ‘Susan G Komen for the Cure
’ which help create the awareness and understanding. The snack stall helped raise funds for ‘VT Seva’ breast cancer awareness/screening/treatment purposes. There are about 25 highly motivated youth and adult volunteers involved in this fund raising activity. The adult volunteers prepar ed the Indian snacks. Local Indian businesses ‘Kolava Market’ of Westford, MA and ‘Minerva Restaurant’ supported the cause by providing reduced price food material and some free snacks.
Several volunteers put sincere effort and worked hard to prepare food, transport and sell at the stall. The planning sessions among the volunteers resulted in good co-ordination and management. We also got an opportunity to present the organization goals by addressing the gathering of 800 people. All in all it’s wonderful event which provided everyone great satisfaction.
The experience is priceless, volunteers gave their heart and supplied abundant positive energy for this special cause. I appreciate their act of kindness, commitment and dedication.
Some comments by Youth volunteers:
Youth volunteer Harika prepared a VT Seva banner and Sravya, Sriramani, Varun, Sridhar and others spent considerable time at the awareness stall distributing flyers.
Sravy a Chary:
Working for VT Seva has helped me a lot. It gave me a heads up on what some people are going through in the world such as, the people in India that have breast cancer and the kids in India that do not have an education. It makes me feel awesome because now I know I can help those people in need.
Working for VT Seva was a great experience for me. Although our shirt stand did not have the greatest amount of business, it has taught me to endure through tough times. This experience has taught me that the more effort you put into anything will make more people interested in what you do. Thus, from my time working for VT Seva, I have learned that working hard and showing interest are the key to success in life.
I felt that our first project for VT Seva was a success. Varun J .. set up a nice presentation through his laptop and some people were interested to know the purpose of this project. I created a banner at the stall where we were selling t-shirts and keychains. Sravya and some other girls spent most of their time selling items. I hope more kids get involve d for the next fundraiser of VT Seva. Overall, our project in Boston worked out very well.
In the 2009 Sankranti TAGB program, a table was set up to fund raise and spread Chinnajeeyar Swamiji's original goals and message for VT Seva. While the adults helped with the food stall, the youth volunteers stayed at the table to sell keychains and shirts from the Susan G. Komen foundation. The funds raised, in part, were donated to the foundation. It was a nice experience for youth volunteers to take part in such a noble cause and interact with the public. Improvements could be made to generate more money, but it was a good start. I am most definitely looking forward to future events.