Care Bags for Rose Haven: Beaverton, OR
Female Young Adults (YAs) of the Sri Sathya Sai Center of Beaverton, OR, spearheaded a service project that involved packing and delivering 150 care bags of hygiene products, such as toothpaste, toothbrush, body wash, soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and mouthwash, for the homeless at Rose Haven. Rose Haven is the only day shelter and community center that specifically serves women, children and gender-diverse people in the Portland area. With night shelters at capacity, Rose Haven’s low-barrier drop-in model bridges gaps in services for the homeless. For many, the shelter serves to break the cycle of homelessness by tending to their basic needs and acts as the first step in their healing.
A month-long drive to collect the hygiene supplies began in early April when a list of needed supplies was posted on the Amazon registry, and shared with Center members and YAs across the region. To add a loving touch, Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) children and Center members made 150 handwritten cards with inspiring and loving messages that were included in each care bag.
Nine female YA volunteers came together on the morning of May 6, Easwaramma Day, 2023, to assemble the care bags. The YAs were also inspired by three community volunteers who had been invited to share the various ways they offer their time, service and love to the community.
Prior to delivering the care bags to the shelter, the YAs took a few of the care bags to the Center and placed them at the altar to thank Sri Sathya Sai Baba for His guidance, direction and unconditional love.
Here is a reflection from a YA volunteer:
"Initially, we set a goal of making 100 care packages. With His grace, a hundred care packages were collected within a few days. Then, we challenged ourselves to make 50 more care packages. It made me realize that if we take one step towards accomplishing something good, He will help us reach our goals. The assembling of the care bags was an excellent opportunity to connect with others and learn about their service experiences. It inspired me greatly to find ways to serve people. At every step of the project, I felt the Lord was with us and provided guidance through invaluable advice from each of the YAs and helped us reach our goal within a set time frame."