Wednesday 10 July 2013

Imagine Volunteers @ Shishu Bhavan

As an activity of  the  Reach Out Club,  a visit was organized to Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, one of the Institutions of the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s) in Bangalore located at Lingarajapuram. 
The imagine Trust through its volunteers was in charge of feeding the children and cleaning the children’s home. The volunteers were asked to assemble at the venue at 8am on Saturday, 29th June 2013.  This time was selected based on the schedule of the activities at the centre.
Sr. Kusumam, the person in-charge of  Shishu  Bhavan  briefed the 21 volunteers to treat all children alike, not to show any  preference for any particular child.  She also explained  how the children are helpless and we have to see God in them. 

Then the group was divided into 2 groups, one opted for feeding the children which included washing their plates  and the other took up the task of cleaning the dormitory and changing the bed linen.   After completing the respective jobs,  some of the volunteers also helped in washing  and drying their clothes.  For the task of feeding, the staff provided semi solid food which had to fed to all the children. The bedding and the linen is changed everyday because most of the children soil them multiple times in a  day. Clothes need to be washed several times to ensure hygiene and they are also rinsed in antiseptic lotion.
The day’s activity ended at 11.30 am with a briefing of The Imagine Trust to the volunteers.
As a practice, The Imagine Trust encourages volunteers to carry utility items. This is optional. Some volunteers chose to bring items whereas some contributed in cash. A total of Rs 11000 was collected in cash. This cash was utilized to buy the items. 
The items  which were generally those used  for the children in the institution such as Cerelac, Lactogen,  Chips, Soaps,  talcum powders,   diapers, toothpastes,  medicines,  multi-vitamin drops,  Dettol,  Dettol Hand wash,  Cooking oil,  Phenyl,  Harpic toilet cleaner, etc.  A detailed list is given below.
Feedback was collected at the end of the event. As expressed by the Volunteers, it was a great experience .   They were really moved with pity to see those innocent  children who are helpless because of their physical and mental  conditions.  Many of them expressed their desire  to visit Shishu Bhavan again.
Feedback :
  • "Expecting much more of this  kind of activities"  - Ganesh  M
  • "Awesome, wonderful experience.  Feeling very happy.  Thank you so much" - Akshara Ruchita
  • "It was a great experience to be here to know such wonderful people.  Wish to be part of this association always.  Thank you". - Sangeetha
  • "It was great experience to be part of Imagine Trust". - Kavitha K
  • "Had nice time with Shishu Bhavan and would like be part of Imagine Trust." - Nalini
  • "I would like to join you people hence forth.  Thank you". - Guna
  • "Loved it.  Would like to do many more such initiatives with you all". - Sunanda Ramesh

Learning to Share by Gladys Noronha

We live in a fast moving world which has resulted in a lack of time for ourselves or for others.   We are caught in our day to day busy schedules which sometimes make us forget who we are and why we live.  We often bypass  the  essence of our living, to make our lives more worthwhile and fruitful for others.

The society is full of corruption and hatred.  We hear and witness so many unhealthy things and incidents happening around us.  The root causes for these are: man has become more self-centered,  more greedy  for power, wealth, name and fame.  Man wants to amass material wealth by any means, many a times through unjust means.   While doing this,  he forgets his moral and spiritual values in life.

Sharing is one of the most important aspects of one’s life.  In every religion the importance of sharing is emphasized.  Sharing means giving of yourself in one way or the other.  Sharing can be done in many ways.

As little children, we were taught to share with our siblings. As we grew, in school, we were taught to share with our friends and classmates. However sharing is more than just giving of what we have in excess.

The easiest way to remind ourselves of this simple value is by sharing material goods with the needy and those who are less fortunate. God in His mercy has blessed us with everything that we need for our daily life.  Many times, He gives us more than what we require so that we can  share them  with those who have less.  God loves a cheerful giver.  God the Father uses the same measure that we use for others. If we give to others, God will reward us tenfold.

In the Bible it is said that after the resurrection of Jesus, the members of the early Church were one in mind and heart.  No one said that any of his belongings was his own but they all shared with one another everything they had.  God poured rich blessings on them.  There was no one in the group who was in need………. The money was distributed to each one according to his need.  (Acts. 4:32-35)

Buy a meal for a poor person who you see on your way to college/work. On special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries, remember those who are not as lucky as you. Instead of that expensive pizza treat, share a few chocolates or pastries in an orphanage. When you have too many clothes that you have outgrown, find people to share them with. The list goes on.

Sharing of material goods does not always mean giving  of what we have in excess.  True sharing is also when we feel the pinch of giving.  “A bone to the dog is not charity.  Charity is the bone shared with the dog when you are just as hungry as the dog” says Jack London, an American author, journalist, and social activist.

Sharing of spiritual gifts is a gift in itself. This includes love and kindness. “Love only grows by sharing.  You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others“ says Brian Tracy, the famous motivational speaker and author.   If the Lord has been good to you, share the same with those around you and with those who need them the most. Each of us is blessed with various spiritual gifts of the mind and heart.  There are so many people around us who need a  kind  gesture, a loving word, a listening ear.  Let us  be generous in sharing this God given gift which He has bestowed on us freely. 

Sharing of one’s  ideas and knowledge can be not only be a way of imparting information but can be beneficial too.  Sharing of knowledge can be done at any time, anywhere.   It can be in the work place, or home or on the way  while going for work or returning home.  It could be our friends, neighbours or  family members.  Again, knowledge and wisdom are God’s gifts to us.  By sharing our knowledge with others, we not only enrich ourselves but  make others better.

We are  blessed with so many talents.  We may know of them or may not be aware of these talents  we have.  So, let us be ready to share them with others in whatever way we can.  God has given us talents so that they can be used for others, for their welfare and by doing this,  we may be grateful to God the Giver of all gifts.

Money and resources are easier to share. But sharing of one’s time is priceless.  Very often we take  ‘time’ for granted.  Time is a precious gift, more valuable than precious possessions.  Let us give our time to listen to others,  to those who are lonely, aged, abandoned,  children, patients  in the hospitals, the sick and the bed ridden in their homes.  Let us spend a few minutes  of this precious time with them, to understand their suffering, to understand what they feel,  to be one with them.

All of us,  some time or the other have experienced the joy of receiving, now is the time to enjoy the joy of giving and sharing. After all, sharing is caring!