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sikh, gurdwara, canada, british columbia

Dozens of Sikh volunteers are helping feed people stranded in British Columbia.

If you haven't seen what's happening with our friends up in western Canada, it's not great. After enduring a record-breaking heat dome and deadly wildfires this summer, residents of British Columbia are now dealing with massive flooding and mudslides. A state of emergency has been declared after a massive storm—an "atmospheric river" that officials have called a once-in-a-century event—dumped a month's worth of precipitation in 24 hours.

An entire town of 7,000 people was evacuated, and areas of other cities have been evacuated as well. The entire city of Vancouver got cut off from the rest of Canada, with every roadway and train line blocked or destroyed by water or mud. It's unprecedentedly bad.

Thankfully, we're seeing stories of helpers and heroes emerging from the disaster.


The Sikh community is known for its sewa, or selfless service, and natural disasters provide plenty of opportunity for demonstrating such service. Volunteers from Surrey's Dukh Nivaran Sahib Gurdwara have cooked more than 3,000 meals for people stranded by the storm.

"So many people stuck there and they have no food," Narinder Singh Walia, the gurdwara's president, told CTV News. "We are trying to reach them with food and blankets and other stuff."

Not only did the Sikh community come together to prepare the meals, but they also arranged for a helicopter to deliver the meals to areas cut off by road and train—a much-appreciated act of service, especially for the truckers who are unable to get home.

Neerha Walia of the Gurunanak Food Bank told CTV News that they were in contact with local authorities and churches to get the food, blankets and other supplies where they were needed. She also said they were renting a plane on Thursday to go to the hard-hit towns of Merritt and Kamloops.

In the meantime, a steady stream of donations is pouring into the gurdwara as community members look for some way to help out.

People helping people in selfless service is what it's all about. Thanks to the Sikh community for continually showing us how it's done.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

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This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

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This article originally appeared on 01.22.19


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn't have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women's rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn't something we'd choose—and we'd hope others wouldn't choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

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