Second Chance Initiative: Pacific Northwest Region
“Your life is a long journey. You should have less luggage (desires) in this long journey of life. Therefore, it is said, ‘Less luggage, more comfort; makes travel a pleasure.’”1~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The Young Adults (YA) of the SSSIO-USA Pacific Northwest Region chose the theme ‘Less Luggage, More Comfort’ for the YA Meet in January 2021. From the YAs' extensive discussion on the topic was born the ‘Second Chance’ initiative – a YA regional service initiative, carried out between January and April 2021, involving the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centers from Beaverton, OR and the Greater Seattle area, WA.
During the January meet, Young Adults were asked to identify five gently used items in their home, not used in the past two years, which they could donate. To increase participation, the YAs were encouraged to post motivational messages and pictures of items they planned to donate, while tagging other members to encourage they donate.
In February, the focus was on finding a second home for these items where they could be put to good use. Details of the items, including any requests for pick-up/drop-off were posted on WhatsApp groups and monthly newsletters. The items included such things as electronics, kitchenware, shoes, clothes, pillows and infant supplies.
In March, the Young Adult team identified a few organizations like homeless shelters, refugee families and family services that were in need of these items. In April, the items were collected, segregated, and delivered to the organizations based on their requests. Volunteers including SSE students, Young Adults, and adults helped in this effort. Through this initiative, the Young Adults were able to serve ten welfare organizations in the Beaverton and Seattle Areas.
Where possible, feedback was collected from these organizations and shared with center members to inspire them. A few of their comments:
- Thank you for your regular contributions and support of [our organization]. Your support is meaningful to us and so appreciated. Caring organizations like yours are the true heart of [our organization’s] success in supporting families. When you donate your second chance items to us, we work to get these items to a family in need. For a lot of families, they are starting over with nothing, so your donations allow families to continue taking consistent steps towards improving their lives and creating a future where we all belong together.
- We definitely needed everything that you have given us. This is very, very helpful to our shelter and our residents. Thank you so much for such great help and support.
- Thank you so much for giving us so many generous gifts for new born and kids. All these items were given to a mom who recently had a baby. She was really thankful to all of you.
Inspired by the Second Chance project, Young Adult members agreed that they should put Ceiling on Desires (https://sathyasai.us/devotion/ceiling-on-desires) into practice. Another Young Adult meet was held to explore Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings on how they can reduce waste of food, money, energy, nature and time. Participants of both meets came away feeling happy to have gained insights they could apply in daily life.
1Sri Sathya Sai Baba Speaks, SSS, Vol 34/Ch.14, July 16, 2001.