Food service and Winter Jacket Donation for Halfway Home Residents: Austin, TX
Sri Sathya Sai Baba says,” If you lift the hand to serve, to help, to console, to encourage another man, you are lifting it for God, for God is in every man.”1 In keeping with this teaching, members of the Sri Sathya Sai Center of Austin, TX have been lifting their hands to serve, help, console, and encourage residents of a halfway home, a transitional housing facility for those recovering from drugs and alcohol.
The Sri Sathya Sai Center of Austin has been associated with the South Austin Market Place for almost 12 years. Volunteers work closely with the halfway home to continually identify ongoing needs and find ways to meet them. Once a week, Sai volunteers prepare a hot taco lunch for the residents. Once a year, they prepare and distribute starter kits for new residents. With the winter season fast approaching, Sai Center volunteers also arranged to distribute winter jackets and socks to the residents of the halfway home.
In a recent food service on 23rd October, 2021, about 20 Sai volunteers came together and prepared fresh hot meals consisting of grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, breakfast tacos, and fruit salad. The volunteers set up a table and distributed hot lunches along with socks to about 200 residents. They also dropped off the winter jackets, which were later distributed by the home manager.
The residents at the South Austin Market Place are very grateful and appreciative of the service provided. Mickey Powers, Director of the Soup Kitchen said: “We are so appreciative, and we’ve had probably at least a decade’s association with the Sai Center here . They have supplied our folks with a lot of things. And we are very, very grateful. ”
One of the volunteers, Sai Akshit, expressed his gratitude: “Though it is heartbreaking to know that many people do not have adequate food, it is gratifying to know we are able to serve & help these people in need. I am always grateful to Sathya Sai Baba for making us instruments to serve in His mission”
Aarthi, another volunteer, shared her thoughts: "I feel elated to be a part of this opportunity to serve the residents at the halfway home. The satisfaction that I get from putting smiles on their faces is priceless.”
Dipikaashree described "During the pandemic, I was just focused on my own needs for more than a year. This service has put things into perspective - that there will always be others who need help, and that we can always find small ways to make our fellow brothers and sisters feel loved and cared for.”
1 Cited from Letter to Charles Penn, Aug 1965. From https://media.radiosai.org/journals/Vol_07/01AUG09/04-penn.htm