The Federal Emergency Management Agency May 7 said that Indian American-led volunteer groups Sewa International and the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh are committed to vaccination efforts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
HSS, a non-profit organization that organizes values-based education programs and community outreach projects nationwide, has deployed a volunteer response team to support Philadelphia, FEMA and other government partners at the Center City Vaccination Center.
This site is equipped to deliver up to 6,000 doses of the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine each day, a news release said.
It is the second federally supported community vaccination center in the nation to benefit from HSS’s assistance. Sewa International and 25 organizations of the Indian American community in the greater Philadelphia region are working closely with HSS to offer support, it said.
HSS has named their campaign “Sewa With FEMA.” Sewa is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service.”
“It involves acting selflessly and helping others without any reward or personal gain, based on their Hindu faith and motto, ‘The whole world is one family,’” HSS’s on-site coordinator Sachin Dabade said in a statement.
Sewa and HSS have deployed 351 volunteers logging 2400 hours of support at the CCVC and 21 volunteers providing 98.5 hours at the Esperanza Community Vaccination Center.
Now more than ever, Sewa and HSS volunteers are impassioned to invest in U.S. vaccination efforts as India’s COVID-19 case rates rapidly increase and its supply of oxygen tanks and medical resources decrease, the release said.
More than a dozen Indian American volunteers arrive daily to provide non-clinical support at the vaccination center, such as wheelchair escort assistance and traffic control, FEMA said.
“We are honored to serve in this national cause of ending the COVID-19 pandemic and sincerely thank the FEMA Region III team for giving us an opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters in Philadelphia,” said Mukund Kute, president of the PA East Division of HSS. “We have distributed $55,000 worth of PPE kits, food and masks since early April 2020. We will continue to support FEMA until we beat COVID-19.”