Spreading festive cheer

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The Australian Sikh Association broadens its charitable reach

A delegation of committee members from the Australian Sikh Association (ASA) recently travelled to Dubbo to deliver $3000 worth of food and household goods as part of a drought relief package for the Salvation Army.

The driving force behind the donation was Amar Singh, a Sydney-based Sikh who first learned of the severity of the drought in central west NSW from a talkback show on the radio. Singh then worked with Sikh community to start their own drought relief campaign.

The donation was given to the Salvation Army’s Dubbo branch and was accepted by the organisation’s Lieutenant Mark Townsend.

“I think it’s wonderful what they have done for the region,” Lieutenant Townsend told local newspaper the Daily Liberal.

This is another example of the charitable nature of the Sikh community in Sydney. Just before Christmas, a delegation of committee members from the ASA visited Westmead Children’s Hospital and gave away care packages of books, toys and sweets for the comfort and entertainment of sick children undergoing treatment at the hospital. The ASA delegation also toured a children’s rehabilitation ward during the visit, talking with sick children and their families.

The annual initiative takes place at Easter and Christmas, and is always much appreciated by hospital management and the children who are forced to spend the festive season in hospital rather than at home with family and friends.

“We at ASA feel that only is giving charitably part of our ethos, but it is also a good way of showing that we care and share with the wider Australian community,” said Dilbagh Singh Bharaj, member of the Council of Trustees of ASA.

This year the gifts handed out by ASA members were accompanied by “Season’s Greetings” cards with the Gurdwara Sahib, Glenwood prominently displayed on one side with a message of well wishes on the other side.

One of the key teachings of Sikhism is to engage in selfless service (Sewa) and help build community life and contribute to society.

Westmead Children’s Hospital is one of the largest specialist children’s hospitals in Australia and is also a leading research hospital.

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