April 28, 2020 (New York, NY) — Across the country, sangats are stepping up to aid their communities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sikh Coalition is working hard alongside many of these sangats to help them share their stories of seva with local media so that food and supplies can reach those in need–and so that more Americans understand the values that define our faith. 

You can see several newspaper headlines and local television screenshots covering these kinds of projects above, including:

  • A gurdwara in San Antonio, Texas, which has raised more than $225,000 for their local food bank;
  • A Sikh organization in Pacoima, California, that provided more than 3,000 meals for pick-up via drive-thru;  
  • A gurdwara in Salem, Oregon, that is making and delivering meals for hospital workers;
  • A Sikh father and daughter in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, who are sharing their family’s coronavirus story to bring hope to others;
  • A gurdwara in Memphis, Tennessee, that is sending pizzas to hospital workers;
  • A Sikh organization in Sacramento and Yuba City, California, that is delivering groceries and prescriptions to seniors, and assisting in other local meal distribution efforts;
  • A Punjabi restaurant in Hammond, Louisiana, where Sikh and other volunteers are using donated food to cook free meals for pick-up; 
  • A Sikh organization in Atlanta, Georgia, that is donating meals to hospital workers; and
  • A gurdwara in Oviedo, Florida, that has provided more than 500 meals per week for the past month for pick-up via drive-thru;
  • Sikh youth in New York City, New York, who are sending pizzas to hospital workers; and
  • The Sikh community in Riverside, California, which is preparing grocery bags and hot meals for pickup every day, feeding more than 40,000 people in need since March.

We also continue to work with additional sangats in Connecticut, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Washington, and elsewhere in order to highlight the work that they are doing to help their communities.

“The Sikh Coalition helped us publicize our seva project through local print and television media outlets,” said Gurpaul Singh, Director of Community Outreach and Media Relations at Sikh Dharamsal in San Antonio, Texas. “By arranging interviews and sharing updates with local reporters about our food bank fundraiser, they helped involve more people from the community–and raised Sikh awareness while doing so.”

The Sikh Coalition is also working hard to inform our community about risks and resources related to the pandemic in English and Punjabi. In just the past few weeks, Legal Director Amrith Kaur has spoken about personal protective equipment for Sikh healthcare professionals, Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager Sim J. Singh and Community Development Manager Sahej Preet Singh have explained federal relief for pandemic hardship, and Legal Client and Community Services Manager Aasees Kaur has offered tips to parents on the dangers of cyberbullying

If your sangat is working on seva in response to the pandemic, please reach out to contact@sikhcoalition.org; we are happy to brainstorm ways to help you get the positive message out. To see our full collection of COVID-19 resources, visit our website; as the situation around the pandemic continues to change, we will update and add more materials in response to the community’s needs. And finally,  please also don’t forget to reach out to our legal team if you experience bias, bigotry, or backlash–whether it is related to the pandemic or not.

As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.