Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giving back to the community

Sometimes certain losses in life make us realize that life is so short and uncertain and make us appreciate much more what we are left with. These events also help us understand the need of supporting each other and giving back to the community.

Recently in a span of few weeks, one of my friend lost her mom in-law, a family lost their house to a fire in our neighbourhood and my 7 year old lost his little fish which he got from Yosemite camping trip. These three losses are quite different from each other but at the same time quite similar in terms of love and bonding involved.

My friend's mom in-law was ailing for last couple of years but still never showed any signs of pain on her ever smiling face. I really salute my friend who served her till her very last breath with lots of patience and dedication. While I was attending one of the rituals after her mom in-law's demise, I came to know about a neighbourhood house which got completely burnt down due to a fire caused by a gas leak in the garage. I was really petrified to see the condition of the house and the cars standing in the garage. The thought itself that the family in the house woke up that morning due to the fire and at the end left with just the clothes they were wearing, ran shivers down my spine. Then after few days came the loss of my son's little fishy. He worked so hard for catching the fish at Mirror Lake,Yosemite during our camping trip and was extremely thrilled to have it as his pet at home. The fish grew a little in size in next few days but for some reason didn't survive for a long time.

Feeling very sad with all these events, when I came to know about a volunteer opportunity at San Jose's Trace Elementary School which lost its library and many classrooms in a recent fire, I knew I have to contribute as much as I could. From my work, there were two teams going to help the school to reestablish their new library - one to build the shelves and second one to arrange and setup the books. I was in the second team and believe me, those 2.5 hours that I spend at the school volunteering were so fulfilling and the thought that those books will be used by the students to learn and explore new horizons gave me immense happiness and peace. A group of students who stopped by the room next door came and peeped inside the library were so thrilled to see the new books in there...a big delight to the volunteer team! Here are some of the pictures I took there.

New book shelves with new books :)

Packing slips

Pile of packing material

One thing I realized with all these life events that though our lives are extremely busy these days with so much happening around us and so much to do, the least we can do is to take out couple of hours to serve the community and spread smiles around us...relieving our stress too...a win-win situation!!

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