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Sewa International served Christmas Lunch for Victims of California Wildfire

by Webdesk/ Sewa USA Press release

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San Francisco (December 24, 2018): Sewa International team, working with a group of local volunteers headed by Heather Helwig, a long-time resident of Loomis, Placer County, CA, organized a Christmas luncheon for 200 fire evacuees of the devastating fires that ravaged Northern California in early November. The fire that originated in Butte County, CA, burnt most part of the three cities of Paradise, Magalia, and Concow to a cinder killing 83 people.


The event was held at the Blue Goose Event Center in Loomis, on Sunday, December 23. Over $7,500 in gifts, gift certificates, and laptop donations were distributed to the individual attendees at the event.  This brought some holiday cheer in the lives of the people who lost everything in the deadly fire.


The attendees were offered a delectable menu of traditional Christmas food, holiday pies, cookies, and more. A variety of activities awaited the attendees of all age groups: face painting, fashioning balloon animals, and a raffles game. There was a Christmas craft corner, and photos with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for the young and old alike. The attendees had an opportunity to participate in a raffles game and win several gift-hampers prepared by Sewa volunteers and the local volunteer team.


Melissa Johnson, a recipient, was very appreciative of the laptop donation and said “Thank you, Sewa. This is going to help me in my nursing career and going back to school.” Another mother at the event who escaped the fire said, “Thanks Sewa for making Christmas doable for my kids. Paradise will stay strong because of you guys.”


In the coming weeks, the Sewa International team will focus on rehabilitation work in collaboration with the victims. “Sewa means selfless service, and we are here to serve in any way possible,” said Jyothsna Prasad, Sewa volunteer and the Chief Organizer of this event. “The enormity of the fires and the tragic consequences are still fresh in our minds, and any cheer and support we can offer, we consider it a privilege and an honor,” she said.


“An opportunity to serve the victims of this destructive natural event was the best holiday gift we received from this successful event,” quipped Minal Joshi, a full-time Family Services Coordinator for Sewa International.


Contributing to Sewa International’s outreach effort were three other NGOs - Annapoorna of Sacramento, CA, Bharati Tamil Sangam, California and the VHP of America (VHPA), whose generosity helped Sewa International reach out to the distressed Loomis community.

 

 

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