DC Metro Sai Samsthan has been championing one of the key tenet of Sai Baba’s Teachings “Service to mankind is service to God” by serving the community through our compassionate efforts. The temple prides itself in this cause by giving perishable and non perishable food to homeless, winter jackets to keep the less privileged warm, toys to sick children to bring warmth to their hearts, and support victims at times of natural disaster.
For the past 7 years, DCMSS has partnered with local food shelters to serve people from all walks of life. The single goal of our food shelter program is to fight hunger in Montgomery County by working in close coordination with Shepherds Food table, Silver Spring, MD and Manna Food Center, Gaithersburg, MD. The homeless particularly need our support on a week day and Thursday is auspicious for Sai Baba so every week whether it is rain or shine or snow we continue to serve over 200 PBJ sandwiches, milk, juice and cereal as well as canned food to Shepherds Food Table Center. Every year, we have donated upwards of 12,000 sandwiches and perishable food items and according to the director of operations at the Shepherds Food Table, our contributions in 2018 have made an impact in providing 2450 meals to homeless members.
We work hand in hand with Manna Food Center, a nonprofit organization; whose motto is to fight the hunger in Montgomery County, which aligns with our temple cause. DCMSS has donated more than 20,000 lbs of non-perishable food over the past 7 years through Manna Food Center. In particular, during 2019, we have donated over 6,500 lbs of food in large part to the newly instituted program called Akshay Patra which allows devotees to drop non perishable food at temple collection center. According to the CEO of Manna Food Center, we have made an impact in the lives of 108 families from this years contribution.
Also, this year, we have expanded our footprint in serving the needy to include local chapters beyond Montgomery County. This year we continue to serve sandwiches and readily items to DC community and Howard County as well as Fredrick County by working with DC Kitchen in Washington DC, Grassroots Homeless shelter in Columbia, Sarah’s House in Ellicot City and Fredrick Rescue Mission.
The community outreach efforts has expanded beyond providing food to the needy to caring for the less fortunate especially during the holiday seasons. We have organized winter drive where we collect warm clothes (sweaters, jackets, warm trousers, sweat pants) to give to local charitable organization and international shelter. This year we collected 17 huge boxes of winter material and handed it over to Salvation Army. To bring joy and holiday spirit in the heart of caring children we gift wrapped new toys, wrote holiday greetings and placed a nice bow on the wrapped toy so that we can bring smile in a childs face. This year, nearly 150 toys in total were handed to DC Children Hospital, Pediatric Care Center and Shepherds Food Table. These efforts have been ongoing for nearly 4 + years.
The community outreach efforts has not only been limited to local organization but has expanded nationally and sometimes beyond the shores of our nation. In a small way, the Samsthan has donated funds to Red Cross to support victims of natural disasters during Oklahoma Disaster, Nepal Earthquake, Louisiana Floods relief, Flint water crisis, Hurricane Harvey and many more.
More recently, DCMMS has taken small steps in bringing health awareness within the community. For the last several years, during late Spring we have organized 5K walkathon/runathon event to make people aware that we care for their health. Recently, we completed 1 year of homeopathic free service (an ago-old Indian alternative medicine) to patrons who have visited the temple and is open to all. This year for the first time, we successfully completed a mini health camp along with eye check up and dental check. We plan to expand our footprint in this area of health wellness to serve the larger community.
We welcome suggestions and enthusiastically welcome volunteers who are interested and wanting to serve this cause.Please visit the Temple calendar for any upcoming scheduled community events. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for participation details.
Thursday Sandwich Drives and Food donations
- Started in September 2012
- Devotees make fresh Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches for delivering to Shepherd’s Table
- Food donations to
- DC Kitchen in Washington DC,
- GRASS ROOTS Homeless Shelter, Columbia, MD
- SARAH’s House, Fort Meade, MD
- Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, Rockville, MD
- Frederick Rescue Mission, Frederick, MD
Mega Food Drive
- Started in September 2013
- Conducts twice a year
- Contribute non-perishable food items to Manna Food Center & Shepherd’s Table
In August 2019, DCMSS did a record food drive collection for Shepherd’s Food Table in Silver Spring, MD and Manna Food Center on Gaithersburg, MD. With active participation from 25 middle and high school kids volunteering in the event, donated 1,200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and 3,098 pounds of non-perishable food to fight the hunger in our community.
Disaster Relief – DCMSS contributes generously to tide over various disasters in the world
- Oklahoma disaster relief effort in May 2013 (Donated $1,204)
- Nepal Earthquake Disaster Relief in May 2015 (Donated $1,438)
- Tamilnadu Floods relief effort in December 2015 (Donated $968)
- Louisiana Floods relief effort in August 2016 (Donated $502)
- Harvey Floods relief effort in September 2017 (Donated $1,430)
- Kerala Floods relief effort in August 2018 (Donated $1,001)
- Hurricane Dorian in October 2019 (Donated $1,531)
- Started on December 2014
- Hundreds of new toys are being donated to DC Children hospital every year during holiday season
- Started on June 2014
- It happens every year in July with hundreds of participants
Letters of recognition
- Manna Food Center
- Shepherds Table
- American Red Cross
Photos of our past few events. Please see our Gallery for all events