By Mahindra Bisram
On September 1st, 2013, Surya Narayan Seva Outreach Sang (SN SOS) in an effort to unite Hindus across America and in collaboration with the Hindu Mandirs National Blood Donation Campaign, held its 3rd annual blood drive. The blood drive was scheduled to coincide with the anniversry of 9/11 so that we will not forget the sacrifice made by the brave heroes who valiantly gave their lives to help save others.
Giving blood is a gift of love and life, and it is one of the greatest forms of Seva. This blood drive like the prior ones took tremendous planning and coordination, and many were instrumental to its success. Dr. Anand Hardowar of SN SOS once again coordinated the drive with the New York Blood Center, and was instrumental in raising awareness of the blood drive in the local community as well as several nearby Mandirs. It should be noted that Dr. Anand was not only the coordinator for this drive but he was also a donor.
This year’s blood drive was once again held in the Mandir’s courtyard, and a blood mobile from the New York Blood Center was utilized as well. The mobile bus was fully staffed for this year’s drive and came equipped with all supplies needed for the blood donation process. Surya Mandir provided a tent that was utilized as a rest area for donors to recuperate after donating.
The drive was scheduled from 10:00 to 2:00 PM and the blood center personnel arrived very early in the morning to set up. Promptly at 10 AM, the onsite registration process started, followed by an initial screening to determine the eligibility of the potential donors. Prior to donating a nutritional meal /snacks was made available to prospective donors.
This year we had quite a few young donors from Surya Mandir who just reach the minimum donation weight and age requirement. This goes to show that the lessons imparted by our learned Panditsto practice Dhanam(charity) one of the four pillars of Sanatan Dharma is not falling on deaf ears. Instead, the teens, as well as the adults of Surya Mandir are practicing what they learn by participating in this Maha Seva event and giving the gift of life and love.
It goes without saying that one should practice what they teach and this event was no exception. Pt. Ram Hardowar (Guruji) and Bahenji Radha Hardowar (Guruma), and many devotees of Surya Mandir and SN SOS were on hand as donors for the blood drive.
After giving blood the donors were directed to a recovery area where snacks (Pretzels, cookies, etc) and drinks (Water, Juice, etc) were available. The donors were encouraged to drink fluids and eat a salty snack to help in the recovery process and to make sure they were well enough to leave. In the rest area were the very capable mother and daughter team of Saraswattie and Nandanie Niranjan who made sure the donors had a drink and snack, and that they were not suffering from any ill effects before they left the donation site.
For a Labor Day weekend, the turn-out was indeed tremendous as over 50 selfless individual gave up their customary labor-day celebrations to donate. Unfortunately due to various restrictions and conditions set forth by the NY Blood Center, such as visiting another country, being anemic, having high blood pressure, no form of identification, etc. some were ruled ineligible as donors.
By the end of the donation period at 3 PM, 29 pints of blood was drawn, which have the potential of saving eighty seven (87) lives.
SN SOS would like to thank all the donors who participated in this Blood Drive and all those who helped to make it a success. Special thanks to all the devotees of Surya Mandir who helped with logistics, registration, etc, during the drive. If you would like to volunteer your services or make a donation to help further the goals of SN SOS, please contact us at 347-809-4373 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surya Narayan Seva Outreach Sang (SN SOS) is a non-profit charitable organization headquartered in Jamaica, New York. Members of SN SOS come from diverse backgrounds and consist of professionals, pandits and other select members of the community. Our humanitarian effort is seen as a way of extending the boundaries of Surya Mandir beyond its physical constraints and opening up its door to many more people in a time of need. Our mission is to provide medical care with a focus on prevention and a healthy lifestyle, social, economic and educational assistance to people in need around the world especially in Guyana, New York and India. Service will be provided to the underserved through love and compassion in our actions. The values and morals thought to us by our religion Sanatan Dharma will be our guiding light as we move forward to help the needy and less fortunate.