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  • 28 Feb 2021 7:30 PM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (February 28, 2021): Sewa International raised over $60,000 for Uttarakhand relief efforts while its volunteers continue to serve the victims of the massive flash floods caused by the Glacier Burst on February 7. The floods have claimed 60 lives and affected more than 200 families so far.

    The search and rescue operations have continued but hopes of recovering people alive from the flooded sites are receding fast. Government officials of the Indian state announced recently that 136 of the missing people will be declared dead. The sudden surge of water in the rivers Alaknanda and Dhauliganga severely damaged 12 villages on their banks and washed away homes, temples, and animals within a span of a couple of hours.

    The first alert about the disaster came from Sewa’s volunteer Manvar Rawat’s live video from Tapovan, a village damaged by the floods. His video, shared within half-hour of the glacier burst, has been watched by more than 3.7 million people and most national and international media agencies have used the same video in their news coverage. 

    Sewa has been conducting many development projects for farmers, women, and children for the last few years in Chamoli District where the ruined villages are located. Currently, over 150 of its volunteers are on the ground serving meals to the needy, assisting rescue operations, arranging health checkups, and giving a helping hand to families that lost their loved ones and livelihood. 

    A community kitchen operated by Sewa is serving meals to about 300 people a day. Over 350 blankets and 300 grocery kits have been distributed so far and homestay/shelter has been arranged for the needy. Sewa volunteers are also conducting a survey in flood-affected villages to find out the needs of the people. 

    Rebuilding Plan

    Sewa volunteers have prepared a three-year relief and rebuilding plan with an estimated budget of over $300,000. This plan includes trauma counseling, environmental rehabilitation, and skill development. Commissioning a medical van, supporting community farming, and providing seed money to an estimated 300 people to start their business are part of the plan.

    Hundreds of trees were uprooted by the floods, and Sewa International wants to plant about 5,000 saplings and care for them until they grow and work as natural shields to prevent future avalanches and landslides. 

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International, https://sewausa.org/, a leading Hindu faith-based nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 24 disasters in the US and abroad.

  • 24 Feb 2021 7:30 PM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (February 24, 2021): Sewa International distributed over 43,000 pounds of food and hundreds of gallons of drinking water on Saturday, February 20 to families affected by winter storm Uri in Houston. 

    Sewa is planning to distribute a truckload (43,000 pounds) of food every weekend for the next several months. These food drives are part of the COVID-19 and winter storm Uri relief efforts. “More than a million pounds of food will be distributed by the end of these drives,” said Nikhil Jain, Sewa’s Houston Chapter Coordinator. 

    Sewa partnered with Alief School District, International Management District, and Houston Assistance Ministry to conduct the food drive. Cars lined up two to three miles before the drive started at 9 AM.

    Sewa volunteers swung into action as they started receiving calls about burst pipes, flooding of homes, and lack of heating. With a plumber’s help they were immediately able to fix leaks in about 13 homes over the weekend. Sewa shared a list of more than 500 plumbers serving different areas of Houston with the community desperate for quick, skilled help.   

    A young couple with an eight-month pregnant wife, and an elderly couple did not have drinking water and electricity. Sewa volunteers were quick to respond and help. The elderly couple was provided a host family to ride out the storm. Another elderly woman living alone was one of the many that Sewa helped with either accommodation or food and water. In another instance, Sewa arranged for oxygen canisters for a 90-year-old man when his wife called for help. Volunteers also supplied dehumidifiers and fans as well as food, water, and other essentials. When it was not safe to drive, they found people in the neighborhood to supply water and food to needy families.

    Sewa volunteers began sharing critical information with the community a week ahead of the storm. “Most queries we received were about the right thing to do during the storm. We provided clear answers to these questions,” Nikhil Jain said.  

    Sewa is partnering with OneStar Foundation, the State Service Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service for Texas since 2003, which administers the AmeriCorps program. Sewa is the only organization specialized in disaster management in the OneStar portfolio in Texas. Eighteen AmeriCorps volunteers are working with Sewa helping coordinate disaster relief efforts.  

    “This Arctic blast has shown us that natural disasters and crises can strike at any moment. We are ready to serve the distressed and the underserved in our communities, and we will continue to monitor the needs of our communities, and provide help,” said Nikhil Jain. 

     

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International, https://sewausa.org/, a leading Hindu faith-based nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 24 disasters in the US and abroad.

  • 7 Feb 2021 7:00 PM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (February 7, 2021): Congressman Ami Bera was the Chief Guest at the unveiling of Sewa International’s report, showcasing the $50 million impact the Hindu faith-based organization has had, partnering with more than 500 other Hindu American organizations since early March last year. The report, titled “Joining Hands: A Community Effort to Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was released at a virtual event on Saturday, February 6, 2021. “What a commendable effort, and what a fine example of bringing organizations together to serve the country during the pandemic,” said Congressman Bera, Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the longest-serving Indian American Member of the U.S. Congress.

    Representatives from national emergency and disaster management organizations took part in a roundtable discussion. They said that community and disaster relief organizations can join hands and leverage the help and expertise of the national organizations. Participating in the discussion were Gina Cross, the Acting Director of AmeriCorps NCCC, Dinusha Weerakkody, Emergency Management Specialist of FEMA, Carol Flores, Texas DCMP Grant Coordinator of NVOAD, and Damian Morales, Manager of Disaster Services, OneStar Foundation. Prof. Anurag Mairal, Adjunct Professor of Medicine and the Director, Global Outreach Programs at Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign, Stanford University, moderated the roundtable discussion.

    Commending Sewa International through a video message was Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who said that “Sewa International represents the best what America has to offer”. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city was “thankful for Sewa’s work and charitable contributions,” and that Sewa had over the past fifteen years grown from a small to a mid-size charity organization and been recognized by The Houston Chronicle as “one of the top 100 charitable organizations in Houston”.

    The Sewa International report identifies 125 of the more than 500 organizations that Sewa volunteers worked with across the country raising money, distributing food, face masks and other PPE, offering help to stranded international students and travelers, participating in food and PPE drives, offering hot meals to the hungry, and managing ten hotlines responding to calls for help from around the world. “We did not know what would be demanded of us in this pandemic situation. It was a first-time experience in dealing with the kind of medical/health disaster that has affected the whole world. We believe we have made a difference in our local communities, across our forty chapters, in 28 states, around the country,” said Arun Kankani, President, Sewa International, inaugurating the session.


    “Disbursing more than $2 million that were raised through direct donations and government and institutional grants, and distributing about $50 million worth of food, PPE, medical supplies, and groceries, serving more than 750,000 people in big cities and small towns, our 5,000 volunteers from 28 states have made a bold statement about selfless service,” said Syam Kosigi, Vice President, Organization, Sewa International. “

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith-based Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 24 disasters in the US and abroad over the past decade.  

    For more information on Sewa International and its activities, please visit www.sewausa.org.

     

     

     

  • 22 Jul 2020 1:11 PM | Marketing Sewa (Administrator)

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    Fremont, CA (July 22, 2020): Sewa International’s Bay Area Chapter organized a luncheon for 500 frontline workers from Kaiser Permanente in Fremont, CA on Wednesday, July 22 to thank them for their hard work and sacrifices in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Sewa’s young volunteers collected over $20,000 to fund the luncheon as part of their LEAD summer leadership program. They raised this amount by hosting online games, teaching AMC Math, and coaching middle schoolers for the Math Olympiad.

    “During these trying and unprecedented times, these amazing individuals from Kaiser Permanente have shown us the power of self-sacrifice for the sake of society and for those in need.  As a college student, I personally feel the anxiety that is growing across  society, but the frontline workers from Kaiser have demonstrated that any obstacle can be overcome if we all come together to support and help each other.  I am excited that Sewa has given me an opportunity to serve these wonderful people in this fashion today,” said Sewa youth volunteer Sarvesh Aiyagari.  

     “Sewa was very generous and kind to donate and help the community during this pandemic,” said Sheridan Loyd, Associate Medical Group Administrator at Kaiser, Fremont who thanked Sewa for the luncheon and commended  Sewa for  bringing some solace to the population gripped by fear and uncertainty.

    Students Get Into Action                                                     

    Sewa’s high school and college volunteers have taken part in many COVID-19 relief efforts in the Bay Area.  They have provided dinner to people at the Martinez Shelter for a week, donated baby food to a nursery in Concord, donated school supplies to children in Oroville and Concow, and donated masks and face shields to various hospitals and schools.  

    Prior to this event, the Bay Area chapter had donated more than 75,000 KN95 and N95 surgical masks and face shields to beneficiary institutes including the United States Postal Service, Valley Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, San Ramon Police Department, City of Sunnyvale, and City of Cupertino, among others.  The Bay Area chapter has also played an instrumental role in helping stranded passengers and students.  

    Nationwide, Sewa has distributed over 650,000 masks, 1,000 liters of sanitizer, 63,000 hot meals, and donated over $100,0000 to food pantries during this COVID-19 crisis.  More than 3,000 volunteers across 43 chapters from 28 states have worked in collaboration with over 250 Indian American community organizations across the country to support frontline workers, families, and individuals in need. In addition, Sewa International has set up ten national helpline centers to field and monitor calls for help and information. Through the information received via these helplines, Sewa International launched the Plasma Registry Drive which led to successful registry matches for four COVID-19 patients. 

    For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19.  

     About Sewa International

    Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith-based Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 25 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 through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and, greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. 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



  • 18 Jul 2020 5:20 PM | Marketing Sewa (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (July 18, 2020): Meeting virtually for their annual conference this year, in the context of COVID-19, and with the highest attendance of nearly 300 people, Sewa International reported a record fundraising effort – raising $8.3 million in 2019, as per initial estimates. It spent $128,032 in general and administrative expenses, and $168,354 in fundraising expenses. The general and administrative expenses amount to 1.5 percent of the total funds raised by Sewa International. “A charity of our size would, at a minimum, have 12 to 18 percent of such expenses. We are unique in that regard in the US, may be internationally,” said outgoing president, Prof. Sree Sreenath.

    The annual event, which this year was scheduled to be held in Washington, DC, in early May, had to be postponed and held virtually. “We have conducted successful national meetings around the country, but this has been a new experience, and it challenged us to learn how to use technology successfully in this virtual conference,” said Sewa’s Vice President for Technology, Anil Deshpande.

                Prof. Sree Sreenath, who served as President of Sewa International for eleven years, from 2009 to 2020, announced that Sewa’s Board of Directors had accepted his resignation and he was handing over the role and responsibilities to Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Arun Kankani, whom the Board had selected as the organization’s new president. “It is a bittersweet moment that I share with you all my resignation from the responsibility of President of Sewa International. The relationship with you all has been a long, fruitful, and intimate. Together we solved many problems, fought many battles, took up many intimidating challenges, and in the end, we came out victorious,” he said as he presented the 2019 Annual Report. “I have been asking to be relieved from Sewa President's responsibility for the last five years so that new leadership can take Sewa to further heights. Arun Kankani will take my place effective immediately. He is a terrific organizer and a fabulous leader. His discipline and steadfastness are legendary. I am proud to pass the baton over to him,” he said as the nearly 300 attendees expressed their admiration of his leadership, and their love and support for him. “It has been a great eleven years serving Sewa working and working alongside with you. Our hard work paid off for Sewa. I feel fortunate for having journeyed together on this quest to serve humanity. I have learned many important lessons from all of you,” he told the Sewa volunteers, executive leadership, advisory board, and staff -- virtual attendees spread across the US, India, Colombia, and other parts of the world. “I am accepting the position of President of Vivekananda Yoga University, VaYU, Los Angeles, CA, but Sewa will still be my first love,” he said separately. VaYU is offering a unique Online 21-month MS (Yoga) program.

    (Prof. Sree Sreenath, outgoing Sewa International President; he has now taken on the role of President, Vivekananda Yoga University in Los Angeles, CA)

      Arun Kankani, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, who will now take charge as the new President of Sewa International, is no stranger to leading large teams and innovative ventures. Accepting his new role as President of Sewa International, he said, “We shall certainly miss the energy and enthusiasm of Prof. Sree Sreenath. He will continue to be part of the executive team as Ex-President and will continue the great tradition of Sewa International where former presidents will continue as members of the Board of Advisors”. In his day job, Arun Kankani is the Director of Inventory Management at Star Pipe Products in Houston, TX. He earned a master’s in computer applications from the University of Mumbai.

                Arun Kankani is one of the founding members of Sewa International, which was formed in 2004. He has been involved in Sewa’s nationwide expansion as a prominent charitable organization involved in disaster relief and rehabilitation; family services; child, tribal, and refugee welfare; women’s empowerment; health and education; and promoting volunteerism. In 2012, Kankani discussed with a multitude of experts the problems faced by families, and the different support models that were available to them in times of crises and trouble. He was involved in formulating and implementing the Family Services program at Sewa that now supports and responds to various unexpected family situations such as death, hospitalization, mental health issues, and relationship issues. In 2013, he helped build the foundation for the ASPIRE program in Houston, where he resides. The ASPIRE program provides after-school educational support in collaboration with the local school system in underprivileged neighborhoods to help children learn well and the schools and school districts improve their success rates.

    (Arun Kankani, Director of Inventory Management, Star Pipe Products, Houston, TX, has been appointed as Sewa International’s new President)

       Kankani was chosen to be the head of operations for the largest community reception in Houston for a visiting foreign dignitary – the “Howdy Modi” event in 2019. The event was attended by both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump. As the Head of Operations for the “Howdy Modi” event, Arun Kankani led a team of over 1,200 volunteers who worked together to organize the event that attracted 50,000 people from around the country. He and his team had to get the work done in three months, and for his successful effort he received a letter of gratitude from the Ambassador of India to the United States. Earlier in 2015, he was also invited by the Indian External Affairs Ministry to discuss the needs of overseas Indians.

                In his report to the attendees at the national conference, Prof. Sree Sreenath said that during his eleven-year tenure Sewa had seen annual revenues increase from $325,000 in 2009 to $8.3 million in 2019; the number of chapters increase from five to 43; the number of national team members increase from two to 62; the number of volunteers increase from less than a hundred to 3,000; and the number of volunteer hours recorded per year rise from 100s to 180,000. He said that he and his team were able to show that an untested brand such as a “Hindu faith-based nonprofit organization” can be successful and thrive, and not just survive. “We have also shown that the entire middle and upper management can be volunteers – from Chapter Coordinators, Chapter Presidents, National Directors, Vice Presidents, Executive-VP to the President. We have no designated headquarters. We have made a name for Sewa in ‘Disaster Recovery’, and we helped start Sewa Nepal, Sewa Pakistan & Sewa Bangladesh,” he recounted with pride. “We know we have worked hard and dedicated ourselves to service in the true spirit of volunteerism, and as per our guiding principles of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family), and Sarve Bhavantu Sukinah (may all be happy). But it also gives us satisfaction that our work is recognized by agencies that rate and rank nonprofits. We have earned the maximum four-star rating by Charity Navigator; we have earned perfect 100 scores in ‘Accountability & Transparency’ and ‘Financial Health’ categories; we have been ranked in the ‘10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions’; we have been awarded the Platinum rank by Great Nonprofits; earned the Seal of Transparency by GuideStar; and the Better Business Bureau has rated us as an Accredited Charity”.

                The day’s events started with traditional prayers and lighting of the lamp. Prof. Subhash Kak, Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK, the chief guest, in his address to the attendees spoke about India’s traditions of giving and sharing, and how in these challenging times Sewa is showcasing the best in serving humanity without any discrimination or prejudice. In his concluding remarks, Saumitra Gokhale, Global Coordinator for the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, spoke of the guiding principles of Sewa International and how the good work done is for humanity and not for selfish reasons. “While we do take pride in what we do and what we have accomplished, our true calling is serving the world selflessly,” he said.  

     About Sewa International

    Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith-based Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 25 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 through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and, greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. 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




  • 25 Jun 2020 5:01 PM | Marketing Sewa (Administrator)

     

    Sewa volunteers with Nam Giao restaurant owner and  military personnel in San Jose, California

    San Jose, CA (June 25, 2020): Sewa International’s Bay Area Chapter distributed hot meals, groceries, and hygiene kits to more than 1000 people as well as schools-supply kits to children in a drive through distribution event held at the Nam Giao Restaurant in San Jose, CA on Friday, June 19 as part of its extensive COVID-19 relief efforts. This community outreach is part of Sewa International’s goal to distribute 75,000 meals and 750,000 masks to those in need nationwide. 

    “During these trying and unprecedented times, we move forward with the understanding that establishing a support structure for the well-being of all is of paramount importance. When we all come together with the idea that no one should go hungry or suffer because of lack of basic resources, then the whole society prospers,” said Guru Prasad, Sewa International Bay Area Chapter Coordinator.

    “We distributed hot meals as well as grocery and hygiene kits to homeless shelters and senior citizen homes. These meals were graciously donated by Nam Giao restaurant,” said Mr. Prasad. 

    In addition to the meals and groceries distributed in  this drive-through event, Sewa International also donated more than 1,000 masks including KN95, surgical masks, and face shields  to Washington Hospital, Tri-Valley Health in Hayward, Heartland Hospice Services, and San Quentin Prison as well as another 250 hot meals to the HomeFirst Shelter for the homeless.

    Sewa International volunteers preparing for food distribution in San Jose, CA.

    Boxes of surgical gloves and face shields ready for distribution

    California Assemblyman Kansen Chu was present during the drive.  Organizations such as Sleeping Bags for the Homeless of Silicon Valley, Philips Creek Ranch, Bengaluru Voice, Trivalley Kannada Sangha, Rajasthani Association of North America, and Friends of Hue participated in the drive. 

    Mr. Chu expressed his gratitude saying, “It is really an honor to be here with Sewa and many other organizations to join hands to provide food, sleeping bags to the needy families in the East Side of San Jose.  During this pandemic, so many families are suffering, including the owner of this restaurant who  had to close down the restaurant, and so the fact that we have people from the community, from Sewa, that come out and help out with face masks and protective equipment and food that was already delivered has really touched my heart.”

    Over the past month, the Bay Area chapter distributed almost 6,000 meals and 7,000 masks to individuals impacted by COVID-19. The Bay Area chapter has also played an instrumental role in helping stranded passengers and students.  In addition, 50,000 KN95, N95, surgical masks and face shields were donated to organizations  including the United States Postal Service, Valley Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, San Ramon Police Department, City of Sunnyvale, and the City of Cupertino, among  others.

    At this juncture, Sewa International has donated over 650,000 masks, 1,000 liters of sanitizer, 63,000 hot meals, and over $100,000 to food pantries in response to the COVID-19 crisis.  Through the hard work of more than 2,500 volunteers across 43 chapters and in collaboration with over 800 organizations across the country, Sewa International has committed to supporting essential workers and service industries in these trying times.  In addition, Sewa International has set up eleven   national helpline centers to field and monitor all calls for help and information. Through the information received via these helplines, Sewa International launched the Plasma Registry Drive which led to successful registry matches for four COVID-19 patients. 

    For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19 

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith based, 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 through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and, greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. 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

    For more information on Sewa International and its activities, please visit http://www.sewausa.org. For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19.


  • 23 Jun 2020 3:53 PM | Marketing Sewa (Administrator)

    Sewa International’s Houston Chapter Distributes 100,000 Pounds of Food to the Needy


    Sewa volunteers distributed food kits at Catalina Apartments in Houston, TX. 

    Houston, (June 23, 2020): Entering the second phase of the COVID-19 relief efforts, Sewa International’s Houston Chapter has distributed more than 100,000 pounds of food in the Greater Houston area partnering closely with 15 community organizations.

    “Sewa organized 15 food drives in the past seven weeks in Houston’s various low-income neighborhoods and served more than 3,400 families by giving them food kits containing 30 pounds or more food. We are conducting our food drives in the apartment complexes where the most vulnerable communities live,” said Gitesh Desai, Sewa’s Houston Chapter President.

    “Sewa is planning to have these drives every weekend for the next few weeks. On Saturday, June 27, food & mask distributions are planned from 10 to 11 AM in Shri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha on Kieth Harrow Blvd, Arrowood Apartments on South Course Drive, and Villa Adora Apartments on Beechnut St in Houston,” said Rashmi Singh & Yash Havalimane, Sewa’s Lead for Food drive.

    Sewa volunteers distributing food kits to families in an apartment complex in Houston, TX.

    Phenomenal Support

    “The kind of support we are getting from other Indian American community organizations for the food drive is phenomenal. Reflecting the age-old Hindu tradition of “Anna Daan” (providing food to the needy), many Hindu Temples, religious and cultural organizations and altruistic individuals from the community have joined hands with us to serve the underserved,” said Nikhil Jain, Sewa’s Houston Chapter Coordinator.

    “Nationally, Sewa has distributed more than 635,000 masks and other protective materials to physicians, healthcare staff and to the first responders such as police officers and firefighters in the last 12 weeks. As hunger spreads through the communities due to the economic impact of the pandemic, we are moving into the next stage to ensure that people do not go hungry,” said Achalesh Amar, Sewa’s Director of Disaster Relief.

    Sewa conducted the biggest drive at Catalina Apartments in association with International Management District, Shree Nathji's Haveli VPSS and Brighter Bites on Saturday, June 21 and distributed 400 food kits containing beans, pasta, sauce, rice, sugar, etc. Hubert Vo, Member, House District 149, Texas House of Representatives, and Houston Council Member Tiffany D. Thomas (District F) participated in the drive.

    In the drive held at the Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir, 250 families received food kits. At the Sri Meenakshi Temple event, 250 food kits were distributed, and India’s Consul General in Houston, Aseem Mahajan, and Texas House Member, Ed Thompson, participated. In Richmond, TX food drives in four apartment complexes were conducted by Sewa and Katy Youth Cricket. Fort Bend County Judge, KP George, visited these complexes and motivated residents.

    Gujrati Samaj, Shree Nathji's Haveli VPSS, Chinmaya Mission, and Vadtal Dham Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple joined hands with Sewa to distribute 16,500 pounds of food in three apartment complexes and in a drive-through event. In all of these drives several hundred pounds of vegetables and fruits and hundreds of gallons of milk and masks was distributed.

    Many organizations from Houston -- Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Shree Nathji's Haveli VPSS, Sri Meenakshi Temple, Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir, Chinmaya Mission, Vedanta Society, Vadtal Dham Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple , Hindu Worship Society, Gujarati Samaj, Katy Youth Cricket, Brighter Bites, Hindus for America, Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America (MMNA), Sant Nirankari Mission, Sneha Hastham, Southwest District, International Management District , Telica, Umang Mehta of Deep Foods, Pankaj & Rupali Maheshwari, Mrugesh & Pallavi Parikh – sponsored and worked closely with Sewa International to conduct these food drives.

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith based, 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 through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and, greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. 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.

    For more information on Sewa International and its activities, please visit http://www.sewausa.org . For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19 .




  • 12 Jun 2020 1:30 AM | Marketing Sewa (Administrator)

     

    Dr. Erica Greenberg, Head of the Pediatric OCD and Tic Disorders program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston speaking on Sewa’s grant in a video released by the hospital.

    Boston, MA (June 12, 2020):  Sewa International’s Boston Chapter announced a $50,000 grant to the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to help children suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This grant will help Pediatric OCD and Tic Disorders program in the Department of Psychiatry at the hospital to increase families’ access to care and reduce the waiting list.

    Sewa volunteers who recently had a conversation with Dr. Erica Greenberg, Head of the OCD program and the Department of Psychiatry on how COVID-19 pandemic impacts the children with OCD were told by  Dr. Greenberg  that the “Coronavirus is generating terrible anxiety, stress and fear: the fear of illness, the fear of death and loss, and the stress of social distancing. The result is an increased need for mental health care for OCD pediatric patients”. “We were moved by the plight of these children and raised funds for the grant,” said Ashwani Garg, Sewa’s Vice President for Administration and its Boston Chapter Coordinator.

    “Sewa’s grant will fund the OCD and Tic Disorders clinical team to recruit a part-time social worker. This person will provide virtual therapy to patients, manage requests for physician referrals, collaborate with schools and run virtual patient and parent support groups,” said Dr. Suresh Jain, Mentor of Sewa’s Boston Chapter and  a community leader.

    Thanking Sewa for the grant, Deborah M. Farr, Senior Director of Development at the MGH said, “Your partnership is deeply meaningful to us and comes at a critical time for Dr. Greenberg’s patients and their families”.

     OCD is a brain and behavior disorder that often begins in childhood, causing severe anxiety and obsessive behavior, intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images, or urges that occur repeatedly. Children with OCD often display compulsive behaviors such as incessant handwashing, going back and forth to check if doors are locked, or repeatedly apologizing. Sometimes these children repeat phrases or noises as if to eliminate upsetting feelings or to prevent bad things from happening.  These obsessions and compulsions ultimately consume the child and negatively interfere with their daily life. If untreated, OCD increases in severity over time.  

    For these children, while life in the pre-COVID world was difficult, the onset of the pandemic has made matters worse. Their fragile mental health situation is now under acute pressure with resultant impact to their academic performance, friendships, and self-esteem. It has also increased suicidal thoughts among these children.

     About Sewa International

    Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith based, 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 through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and, greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. 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

    For more information on Sewa International and its activities, please visit http://www.sewausa.org. For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19.


  • 9 Jun 2020 1:14 AM | Marketing Sewa (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (June 09, 2020): Sewa International and TV ASIA are presenting “Sur Sangam”, an exclusive musical performance featuring six prominent singers -- Ankit Tiwari, Shaan, Anup Jalota, Daler Mehndi, Jaspinder Narula and Madhushree Bhattacharya -- on Sunday, June 14 at 1 PM EST.  

    The event is going to be telecast live by TV Asia and World BBTV and streamed online on Sewa’s Social Media channels. The  concert, which will help raise funds for Sewa’s COVID-19 relief efforts, can be  watched  online at  http://ow.ly/17OS50A1b3K. Viewers can also download World BBTV App on their mobile phones, computers or smart tv to watch this event live.

    “It is great to partner with TV ASIA to present these six artistes in an exclusive music concert to raise funds for our COVID-19 relief work. This is a talented and popular ensemble and I am confident that music lovers will enjoy the show,” said Prof. Sree Sreenath, President of Sewa International.

    “More than 3000 Sewa International volunteers from 43 chapters are working in 198 cities, in 27 states across the country to provide relief to communities beleaguered by the pandemic. To help the frontline workers, we have distributed more than 625,000 N95, KN95, surgical and homemade masks so far. We are supported by 400 community organizations and we are running 11 helplines to provide non-medical help. We have served 350 institutions such as food banks, health clinics, senior centers and first responders, and handled more than one thousand calls for help and advice,” Prof. Sreenath said.

    The SurSangam concert sports the tagline “World Fights COVID-19 – What World Needs Now is Solidarity”. This event, in which Sewa International and TV ASIA are collaborating, is to raise funds for an important and urgent cause. Sewa International had organized a live concert on May 16, 2020 – which was streamed online -- by the famous spiritual singer Kailash Kher to raise funds for its pandemic relief work.

    TV ASIA is an entertainment company headquartered in Edison, NJ. Founded in 1993, TV ASIA is known for telecasting a variety of original news, and musical and cultural shows covering the vibrant Indian Asian community in the US.  Its “Community Roundup” program aired every day at 6 PM EST is popular among Indian American/South Asian viewers and covers community celebrations, festivals and local events.

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith based, 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 through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and, greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. 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






  • 7 Jun 2020 7:18 AM | Marketing Sewa (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (June 07, 2020): Sewa International’s Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, Arun Kankani announced that the organization had crossed the one million dollar mark in fund-raising over the past ten weeks since Sewa International took on the challenge to battle the pandemic raging across the world. “We are the small engine that can. Our steady, coordinated, hard work in supplying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to those fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic, as well as providing a variety of support to those who are caught in the web of this pandemic – from stranded international students to people who have lost jobs, and from individuals who are seeking plasma transfusion to providing food and groceries for people in need – has enabled generous donors to understand and acknowledge our work. They have given of their trust and generosity to us, and we thank them for both,” Arun Kankani said.  

    In their ongoing effort to help support communities across the country during this unprecedented pandemic, Sewa International has distributed more than 625,000 masks, 63,000 hot meals and food kits, donated more than $100,000 to food pantries, and engaged and coordinated the work of more than 200 professionals including doctors, attorneys, financial and employment specialists to offer more than 90 webinars to provide expert guidance. This work carried out through its 43 chapters in 198 cities across the country, with more than 3,000 volunteers involved in various relief activities unremittingly, has made an impact across communities. Nearly 1,000 Sewa volunteers are engaged in making homemade masks. Sewa International is also running 10 helplines in different metropolitan areas to provide non-medical advice and assistance. Sewa has also helped hundreds of stranded international students and travelers so far, coordinating the work with foreign consulates.

    GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency

    “While we are in the midst of this pandemic relief work, Sewa received the 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.  This highest recognition from GuideStar shows Sewa’s commitment to transparency,” said Arun Kankani. As per information from GuideStar, by providing complete information required for this rating, non-profits give potential donors better insight into their work to help them make educated decisions.

    “We live in really challenging times, and the whole world has been impacted. As we continue to work to mitigate the problems people are facing, we want to thank our generous donors without whose help we would have found it more challenging to carry out this work. Look out for our volunteers in their yellow t-shirts in your community, and know that they are there to help you,” said Arun Kankani.

    Donors Form the Bedrock

    Sewa is following a multi-pronged approach in its relief efforts and a few philanthropists have pledged $50,000 each to ensure continued success of different tracks. These donors have become the bedrocks on which Sewa is building its robust COVID-19 response.

    For its general relief stream, Sewa has received support from Avadhesh Agarwal, hotelier, businessman and philanthropist from Los Angeles, CA. This track includes COVID-19 relief efforts ranging from running 11 Sewa helplines across the country to help the needy with non-medical advice to providing food and medicines to the stranded students and travelers.

    Sewa received financial backing from Jugal Malani, an industrialist & philanthropist from Houston, TX, for its Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) track. Sewa is supplying masks, sanitizers, face shields and other protective gear to first responders who are on the frontline to protect our communities from COVID-19 pandemic.

    Food & Essentials

    Sewa’s Food and Essential Support initiative received funding from Rani Kumra, a philanthropist from Bay Area, CA. Sewa is supplying hot meals, groceries, medicines, homemade masks, hygiene kits and other essentials to vulnerable families and individuals across the country through this track.

    Volunteers belonging to Sewa International or its partner organizations in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Pakistan, Trinidad & Tobago, and Guyana are supporting migrant workers and underserved communities affected by COVID-19 by providing them with food, masks, and other essentials. Ramesh Jain, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Germany, is backing the international COVID-19 relief efforts with his generous donation.

    To reach this fundraising milestone, Sewa has also received unstinting financial support from many organizations. Chinmaya Mission, Houston has given $25,001, All India Movement (AIM) for Seva, Arya Samaj, Greater Houston, Vallabh Priti Seva Samaj of Houston and Datta Yoga Center have donated $10,000 or more to Sewa for COVID-19 relief work. More than 400 organizations across the country have supported Sewa through their monetary donations and by providing volunteer force, food, material and space. 


    About Sewa International

    Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith-based Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 25 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 through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and, greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. 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
Tax ID: 20-0638718
 708-872-7392
 info@sewausa.org

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Sewa International is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non profit organization registered in Georgia.

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