SSE Food Service for Families in Transition: San Diego, CA
Since the end of 2018, the Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) students of the Sathya Sai Center of North San Diego serve dinner one Sunday every other month to formerly homeless families at Solutions for Change, a non-profit organization in Vista, California. Solutions for Change is dedicated to solving family homelessness by offering innovative solutions to create a permanent change for families in transition.
Previously, the SSE students would prepare food bags for the needy which were then dropped off at a location where the homeless gathered. However, a five-year-old SSE student expressed an earnest desire to serve the recipients in person. Touched by this request, her SSE teacher, Ms. Sheela Nayak, explored various agencies in the area and found Solutions for Change. Thereafter, SSE students, their teachers, parents, and center members began to take fresh home-made vegetarian food to the facility and serve its resident dinner once every two months. On December 15th 2019, they celebrated the joy of Christmas by presenting songs. The children also distributed colorful hygiene packs to the grateful residents.
Feedback about the dinner service has been positive. Firstly, the staff at Solutions for Change expressed their delight with the vegetarian meal which supports the health-conscious focus of the organization. Emily Fauber, the Volunteer and Community Outreach Administrator at Solutions for Change expressed her appreciation for the caring and kindness Sai volunteers show the residents. Ms. Nayak felt it was very rewarding to see SSE students enthusiastically participate in the service and put into practice what they had learned about loving service. SSE students regularly observe that serving at Solutions for Change is their favorite part of the SSE program. Regarding the SSE students’ participation, Ms. Nayak commented, “they love interacting with the former homeless residents; they are so good at it!”