Susquehanna Malayalee Association (SMA) enjoys supporting other Charitable and Civic organizations in and around central Pennsylvania. Giving back to the community in addition to serving the members for their needs is another example of meeting the purpose of our existence as SMA.
Bethesda Mission has been providing hope and healing to hungry and homeless people in the Greater Harrisburg area since 1914. Having understood the noble cause of Bethesda Mission, SMA decided to support Bethesda Mission with all support SMA could provide. SMA reached out to Bethesda mission in 2010 and built a strong relation with the mission. Chuck Wingate, the Director of Bethesda became a close friend of SMA, and would be a guest for SMA functions. During these visits he provided a broader view of the role Bethesda Mission plays in helping the poor and hungry. From that year onwards SMA has involved in providing support every year to the mission. At least once a year SMA conducts a food drive in one of their events. Normally the Christmas program is the time when the drive is conducted. Members are informed in advance about the drive and a list of items is provided which can be supplied for the drive. We have found the response for the drive is very much overwhelming and the food is delivered to Bethesda Mission the next day.
ARC was established in 1953 by parents wanting to create opportunities for their children with intellectual and developmental disabilities; The Arc opens doors and unlocks potential for consumers of all ages. Providing advocacy and access to educational, vocational, recreational and critical life skills programs, The Arc is an essential resource for consumers, their families and the community. The ARC was another one of the Associations which was selected by SMA to provide service. Here again SMA would collect cash in one the SMA events. Volunteers would first let the SMA members come to know about the various charity works undertaken by ARC, and then would request for donations during one of the events. This funds collected from the SMA members would be handed over to ARC for their work.
Volunteer work at Wildwood Park
Volunteers play a very important role in the daily operations of Wildwood Park. Their enthusiasm and dedication are valuable resources. Their contributions of time and talent are greatly appreciated by the staff and by the visitors who use our park.There were different areas one could volunteer for Wildwood Park. From the list SMA selected to support the park by Landscape Maintenance and Projects – Work in the developed areas of the Sanctuary and grounds surrounding the nature center to control and maintain planted vegetation. SMA would select a date for the service and then announce to all the members about the plan for the service. On that selected date many volunteers from SMA turn to do the service work. The Wildwood park authority supply with necessary equipment (spades and other garden equipment’s) , cart’s and gloves for doing the volunteer work. The photographs shown below gives a good idea of the service provided by the volunteers for Wildwood Park.
SMA used these initiatives for helping the community we live in. At the same time, this gave an opportunity to know the needs of other nonprofit organizations in the area and purpose of their existence. This broader understanding helped members to get involved in social service activities. Members learned about the overall societal setup and involvement of nonprofit organizations in uplifting the disadvantaged. Members benefited by the physical work involved with the park cleaning and the interaction with others at the park. Young members of SMA also involved. It gave youngsters also an opportunity to learn more about the community. SMA will continue these efforts in the years to come. SMA members and next generation of SMA will learn to extent their helping hands to the needs of the society.