T he Sikh Community in Canada had strong roots and functional operative, if there is any need. The Principles are ingrained in three Basic doctrines:
Honest Earning. ( Kirat Karo )
Constant Sate of Meditative Awareness ( NAAM Japo )
Sharing with others ( Vand CHAKNA )
We all saw the devastating wild fire which engulfed a thriving city of our neighbouring province Alberta,we all saw the horror Images on TV & other News outlets. It was shocking. By May 3 Rd the City of Fort McMurray was on emergency alert where over 90,000 people were evacuated by a very coordinated day/night effort by the Fire Fighters, Polices,Paramedics & other Volunteers . They were brought to safety in Edmonton while there houses, valuables, and other daily needs items were engulfed by this Mammoth Fire. The B C Sikh Community activist and humanitarian folks started a momentum the same day to help these brothers & sisters of us with young children & babies.
The community from Greater Vancouver through Surrey Delta, Abbotsford & till Mission joined hand to make this a grand Success. We talked & met to coordinate this helping gesture. The first phase was collection of canned food,baby Food, diapers, daily needs items.
This was executed with super success from May 6 through 8 where all the Gurdwaras,Schools,Business etc participated. We initially aimed for one truck but with so much passion to help we were able to roll out 3 big 53 feet trailer on May 9 to Edmonton Emergency Relief Services,( EERS), all the truckers provided free service.
Our Coordinatior ‘Avtar Singh Gill’ also went to Edmonton to do the needs assessment. We saw that they were receiving canned food from other services or groups but were devoid of clothes,undergarments,daily bathroom needs etc. This gave birth to phase 2 which was new Clothes,shoes,socks, toys, laundry detergent ,toilet needs products,pillows,blankets, pillow covers,yoga mats,jackets etc.
This was conducted as one day event on 14 May at three locations. In Surrey at the Tamanawis High School at 1260066 Ave. In Vancouver at the Khalsa Dewan Society Ross Street Gurudwara. In Abbotsford at all the three Gurudwaras . The truck number 4 with pillows,blankets & undergarments was actually sent on 12 th May because of calls from EERS of acute shortage of these items. Five trucks with Brand new items were sent on May 15 to EERS. Phase 3 was executed on May 20, when 10 dedicated Volunteers left from Surrey to Edmonton to work with EERS daily for one week,we arranged their transport,food&accommodation.
The Community rose to this occasion with volunteers from preschool age to as old as 80 years. It was a collective work where the donors,volunteers,Tony Singh’s generosity from Fruiticana to open his warehouse day & night for us to use to dispatch 9 trucks and of course the truckers and trucking companies who provided free Services. This act of selfless service was done by body,mind & money ( Tan,Maan,Dhan ). If we do a conservative estimate we would be easily over a million dollar mark in brand new products sent to our fellow human beings in need.
“ Vich Duniya Sev Kamaiyaea taa Dargeh Baisen Payiyae “