Willow Bend Environmental Center: Region 9
Sai Center members in Region 9 participated in a service project in conjunction with the Unity retreat held in Flagstaff, Arizona during the Memorial Day weekend in 2018. About 45 enthusiastic retreat attendees volunteered at the Willow Bend Environmental Center.1 They cleaned, pulled weeds, shoveled and raked the soil, planted new saplings, carried out repair work and beautified the Meditation Garden.
A few volunteers reflected on their service experience. Carla from Colorado shared, "It just felt so gratifying to be treating our environment with loving care. Even those who are not gardeners or outdoor types were able to dig in and make such a difference.” Aru commented, “I felt the service project at the Willow Bend Environmental Center was connected to what's most important- LOVE. The love was felt as we uprooted weeds in the garden together- children, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers all bonded in the task of beautifying the space as if it was our own home. There was joy in knowing we made a difference for many others to experience the peace in the beautified garden”.
The staff at the Meditation Garden could not believe their own good fortune that a group of kind and loving people would volunteer to work so hard and happily at weeding and raking, and make the place look beautiful in such a short time. In addition, a couple of the volunteers painted a beautiful message of love on the rocks at the center of the labyrinth in the garden.
The staff expressed their deep gratitude as they currently do not have the personnel nor the funding to carry out the amount of work we were able to complete in a two-hour period. They expressed a sincere desire that we return to continue this service in the future. Sai volunteers were equally very grateful for the opportunity to be of service and to spread Sai Baba’s message of Love in Action.
1 For more information, please see http://willowbendcenter.org/