Sikh volunteers prepare 30,000 free meals for people in isolation

If you know anything about Sikhism, this news will not surprise you. If you don't, you're about to learn about a religion with a long history of humanitarianism.


Sewa, or "selfless service" is a way of life for Sikhs. It means helping others with no expectation of anything in return or hope of gain in any way. Through sewa, Sikhs demonstrate the equality of all people, show love and respect towards others, and protect themselves from selfish vices.

And during a time of global crisis, sewa from everyone is more needed—and appreciated—than ever.

Knowing the impressive capacity for service in the Sikh community, the New York Mayor's office reached out to New York Sikhs with a request for food packages. The Sikh Center of New York kicked it into high gear, preparing and packaging more than 30,000 home-cooked vegetarian meals for Americans currently self-isolating.

Beans, lentils, and rice were cooked in humongous pots before being served into to-go containers to be distributed to elderly and immunocompromised people in isolation. Strict food hygiene practices were observed, and social distancing measures practiced as much as possible during the food preparation.

"The meals were prepared on Sunday and was packaged and loaded for delivery, " Himat Singh, coordinator of American Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (east coast) told Asian News International (ANI). "The distribution starts on Monday in the morning, by local authorities. Volunteers who prepared and packaged the meal had a medical check and have been approved by physicians and health authorities."

Sikh communities across the nation have stepped up to help out their neighbors.

"Once we heard people were having a problem with food when they go shopping, they can't find food in the shopping center, then we started reaching out to people in our personal capacity in the Bay Area." Dr. Pritpal Singh, coordinator of American Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (west coast) told ANI.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded in India in the 15th century. There are about 27 million Sikhs in the world. More than three quarters live in the state of Punjab, India. Approximately 500,000 Sikh live in the U.S., primarily in California, New York, and Washington state—all hard-hit areas in the coronavirus outbreak.

Many thanks to the Sikh community for your sewa during this time.

Coronavirus: Sikhs prepare over 30,000 free meal packets for Americans in self-isolation www.youtube.com

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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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