The Sikh Religious Society of Palatine, Illinois, was honored by Salvation Army with a “Life Time Service Award” July 14. Palatine is a suburb of Chicago. The Salvation Army also honored Sarwan Singh Raju with the “Making the Difference Award.”
The Salvation Army is an Christian international charitable organization founded in 1852, in England, and today has a worldwide membership of 1.7 million, with a presence in 130 countries, helping with social justice issues and helping the elderly, homeless and more.
Sarwan Singh has been mobilizing the Sikh community of Greater Chicago area for more than two decades to participate in the events organized by Salvation Army for feeding the poor on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day celebrations, a press release from Asian Media USA, said.
Major Nancy Powers of The Salvation Army, Chicago visited the Sikh Religious Society (SRS) Gurdwara in Palatine, Illinois on July 14, and presented plaques honoring SRS and Sarwan Singh for coordinating the Sikh Community in donating and serving food to the needy since 1992.
Sarwan Singh and Hardial Singh Deol have spearheaded these activities continuing the tradition of “Langar” started by Guru Nanak Dev the founder of Sikh faith, the press release said.
“What could be a better tribute to Guru Nanak Dev Ji when a highly reputed Christian Missionary organization, Salvation Army, appreciates Sikh community for their generosity, in the year of 550thAnniversary,” of Guru Nanak, Dr. Pardeep Singh Gill the SRS president, is quoted saying in the press release.
Gill was joined by SRS Trustees Prempal Singh, Gurmit Singh Bains, Irwinpreet Singh, Amardev Singh Badesha, Jairam Singh Kahlon, Dr Balwant Singh Hansra and Gurdip Singh Sangha, to receive the plaque from Major Powers.
The community members who regularly supported these events of the Salvation Army included Sarwan Singh, Hardial Singh Deol, Iqbal Singh Chopra and his wife, Thakar Singh Basati, Jasbir Singh Bhalla, Shiva Singh Khalsa and his wife Shabad Kaur, Dr Jasvir Kaur, Amardev Singh Badesha, Kuldeep Singh Makker, Kamaljit Singh Virdi, Khushpal Singh Sodhi, Kuldip Singh Sibbal), Laddi K. Singh, Sukhmel Singh Atwal, Gur Singh, Surinderpal Singh Kalra, Jairam Singh Kahlon, Lakhbir Singh, Onkar Singh Lal, Kuldip Singh Sra, Lal Singh, Geeta Singh and many more, according to the press release.
Amardeep Singh Chawla and his wife Timki Kaur and family have been contributing vans full of canned food and distributing food to the visitors at Salvation Army sites during these events.
“To practice the ideals of Guru Nanak, we must carry out some of our service activities out of Gurdwaras, participating in the American mainstream community events like Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and in national parades (like Memorial Day parade), inter-faith activities and get civically engaged,“ said Sarwan Singh, adding, “Such events could serve as an example and inspiration for other Gurdwaras in US to follow suit. It will greatly help in creating awareness in American public and dispel the misconceptions about the Sikhs.”