The Houston Namadwaar stands for Universal Love and Harmony, and the first year anniversary of the Namadwaar was celebrated on March 19, 2011 in a grand manner, with giving food and clothing to people in need.
The GOD team reached out to the nearby communities in / around Pearland and Manvel areas many days in advance, requesting for their contributions. Numerous boxes of gently used clothes as well as vegetarian non-perishable food had been collected by the generous contributions of families living in those communities.
The morning event primarily revolved around giving back to the community with food, clothes and educational supplies drives. The supplies were to be be given away to the Pearland Neighborhood Center (PNC), a local agency that serves the needy in the Pearland/Manvel and nearby areas through a variety of social service programs. Ms. Sondra Huddleston of PNC was present at Namadwaar on 19th morning to take part in the proceedings and receive the donations.
Also present were several youngsters from the Bhutanese community in Houston for whose benefit an educational supplies drive (comprising backpacks, notebooks and calculators) had been held.
After the guests were welcomed and honored with flowers and mementos, Sri Sriram Ramanujam gave a brief overview about G.O.D.’s vision, worldwide activities and service programs across the world. He underlined the words of Sri Swamiji that Divinity and Humanity are inseparable, and emphasized that universal love and harmony was the strong thread that united all the efforts of G.O.D., whether it was praying and chanting the Divine Name; conducting food, clothes or city-cleaning drives; supporting children’s education; counseling seniors, prisoners or young orphaned children; or any of the several such social service programs that are being organized in different parts of the world.
Ms. Sondra Huddleston then spoke a few words about the wonderful service PNC does for the community that include running a pantry, medical assistance, emergency assistance, disaster relief, basic living skills course and more. Sri Narad, a high-school student who was one of the representatives of the Bhutanese community at Namadwaar that day, also spoke for a few minutes. His words showed the courage that the Bhutanese youngsters have, despite the challenges they have had to face because of displacement from their own land and having to adjust to living in a new country and new culture.
Sri Jeevan Nair then spoke about the specific drives that had been conducted as part of Namadwaar’s anniversary celebrations. Before the actual boxes were given to the recipients, he read out a beautiful prayer (which was repeated by everyone present) that was as follows:
“May this charity put me in a state where I can give more!
May this charity bring peace and happiness to the receiver!
May this charity make me a more humble person!
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare!”
The boxes of clothes, food and school supplies were then handed over to Ms. Sondra Huddleston and Sri Narad by Sri Narayanan Sathiamoorthy. Sri Ramaswamy gave the vote of thanks to end the morning’s proceedings.