Sikhs may not have a parade in Surrey to help them celebrate this year but through a new initiative called Virtual Vaisakhi, they will still be honouring the sacred holiday’s spirit of seva.
Although Surrey’s April 25 parade – which is the largest outside India – has been cancelled due to COVID-19, a collective of Sikh groups that includes a Surrey gurdwarda is invoking the spirit of Vaisakhi by raising money for community outreach organizations and non-profits.
“Every year there are many Vaisakhi Nagar Kiran events that bring thousands of people together to collectively celebrate Sikhi,” said Jessie Kaur Lehail of Kaur Project.
“This year, we are directly asking and inspiring Sikhs and non-Sikhs to collectively open their wallets and hearts to help invoke the spirit of Vaiskahi to address the most pressing and emerging needs with organizations working with local food banks, seniors outreach, marginalized communities and domestic support services.
“Let’s celebrate Vaisakhi by helping others.”
Kaur said 100 per cent of money raised will go to community initiatives.
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The Sikh groups involved with Virtual Vaisakhi include:
- Kaur Project – Profiles Sikh women through portraits and first person narratives.
- One Voice Canada – A non-profit organization that focuses on bridging gaps between the local communities and international students.
- SAF International – Follows the Sikh principle of selfless service to humanity in its work for development and social change.
- Khalsa Aid – An international NGO with the aim to provide humanitarian aid in disaster areas and civil conflict zones around the world.
- Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen – A Sikh-faith led volunteer organization working for the benefit of all communities.
- South Asian Mental Health Alliance – A non-profit network dedicated to mental health awareness, acceptance, support and empowerment.
- Sikh Research Institute – Connects people with the teachings of Sikhi and strengthens the bonds of the Sikh community around the world by offering courses and seminars.
- Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar – A Surrey gurdwara formed in 1998. It is located at 12885 85 Ave.
- Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar – A New Westminster gurdwara located at 347 Wood St.
- SEYVA – A youth-led volunteer organization that strives to build community.