By Jessica Anstice
The Officer Sikh Temple proudly announced their ‘The Gift of Warmth’ initiative to extend the humane touch through collection and donation of warm clothes for those in need this winter.
The drive was launched on Facebook last week and officially announced in a big celebration on Sunday June 16, attended by members from over 22 local community organisations.
The campaign will continue until June 30.
“The Sikh community is known for its compassion and principles to share their blessings with those in need,” Sikh community spokesperson Randeep Singh said.
“This has been the motivation for the recent initiative that has already received a lot of support and applause.”
The idea was initially conceived during discussions with Cardinia Cr Michael Schilling.
An appeal was made that every family relooks at their wardrobes and considers donating ‘good condition warm clothes’.
These clothes can be dropped at the Sikh temple from 7am to 7pm over the next two weeks. Community volunteers will then sort the clothes and pack them and arrange drop off for homeless people.
Donations in cash are also accepted and will be forwarded to the beneficiary organisations.
“This is a win-win selfless project for everyone to nurture harmony and care,” Mr Singh said.
“While we get an opportunity to rearrange our wardrobes, we are also in some ways reducing our own environmental footprint.
“We get a chance to express our gratitude while sharing our blessings with those in need.”
The campaign is also an opportunity for like-minded people to connect and show their compassion as a group and promote community wellbeing.
“Imagine if 500 families in the region donated two jackets each, it can potentially save 500 plus people, with lack of proper clothing from falling sick,” Officer Sikh Temple member Harpreet Kandra said.
Community representative Avtar Singh said the temple received some clothes on day one of the initiative and many organisations and community members have promised their support in this drive.
The Officer Sikh temple has taken several initiatives in the recent past to reiterate that temples and churches are also community wellbeing centres much beyond just being a place of worship.
Officer Sikh temple has helped with raising funds for the Cardinia Environmental Coalition; creating awareness about breast cancer with Cardinia Gujarati Association; planted over 600 trees in last eight months; organised thanksgiving meal for volunteers of CFA, SES, BlazeAid and Country Women’s Association who played an active role in the recent Bunyip bushfires; celebrated Eid al-Fitar to promote community bonding.
This initiative has already got support from other community organisations who have vowed to work together to make this a success- Sree Narayana Mission; Cardinia Gujarati Association; Indian association Casey and Cardinia, Ahmadia Muslim Association and more.
Any organisation keen to support with this initiative can contact Harpreet Singh on 0447 028 688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.