The largest Vaisakhi celebrations outside of India were set to take place this month in Metro Vancouver but have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Spirit of Vaisakhi hasn’t been cancelled as BC Sikhs have come up with a unique way of celebrating with a Virtual Vaisakhi, raising money for good causes.
BC Sikh Groups Celebrate Virtual Vaisakhi with a Fundraiser
The concept is to raise funds and give back during COVID-19 pandemic and Sikh Heritage Month. A collective of local Sikh based community organizations are raising funds and working with existing community outreach and non-profits within British Columbia to help ease the related economic hardships faced by the communities in which we live and work.
With a little less than one week in combining efforts, the following initiatives are taking place:
- Over 1500 daily meals were served
- 100+ grocery/prescription deliveries
- Glove and mask coordination/delivery
- Health care snack/meal delivery
“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/Virtual Vaisakhi.
“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.”
Currently the collective includes Kaur Project, One Voice Canada, SAF, Khalsa Aid, Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, SAMHAA, SikhRi, Future is Partnership, Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, SEYVA, S.A.L.M.O.N Project and many others.
Guided by the Sikhi based value of Sarbat Da Bhala (service to all) while practicing Charhdi Kala (expansive resilience) and Joash (vibrant courage) and a spirit of giving, Virtual Vaisakhi is inviting one and all to invoke the Spirit of Vaisakhi to raise financial support.
Campaign operations will nimbly align philanthropic resources based on emerging needs, prioritizing food, medical and emergency assistance for seniors, marginalized and domestic support services. As needs are communicated, it will be of utmost importance for Virtual Vaisakhi/Spirit of Vaisakhi to provide funding to these organizations rapidly. The collective has committed to contributing 100% of money raised to community initiatives.
To volunteer or request help, visit the campaign website.