Montreal’s Sikh community is celebrating the 550th birthday of its founder Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s on Sunday and members marked the occasion by sharing their wealth with those who need it most.
The Gurudwara Sahib Quebec Temple in Point St. Charles donated money to a couple of community organizations. This year they gave over $4,000 to Sun Youth, and more than $3,000 to Share the Warmth. This is the 32nd-consecutive year that they’ve donated to Sun Youth, and 11 years to Share the Warmth.
Temple leaders say that, as Sikhs, it’s important for them to share with their neighbours because that’s one of the requirements of the religion and a duty.
“We contribute through the vehicle of Sun Youth and Share the Warmth,” Opkar Singh Sandhu, the president of the temple, explained. “We used to, at one time, collect non-perishable goods; now we found it more efficient to write out a cheque and let them buy what is most convenient to them.”
Members of the temple say, though, that sharing with the broader community helps to bring people together.
“Sharing says, ‘I am here for you’ ” said Taran Jeet Singh, a congregation member, “and is a first step towards bridge building.”
Sandu added, “we want to send the message generally that we are here, we have the same values as anybody else.”
Sun Youth assistant coordinator Francois Turgeon said the donations are significant.
“It’s a chain of giving, it’s a chain of help and kindness,” he told Global News. “During Christmas time, we help over 5,000 people with food and shelter, and during the year we can deliver 27,000 baskets and we are able to do that because of help from organizations like the Gurudwara Temple.”