Giving Back to the Community

Helping to create a better world by giving back to the community is a great act. You feel good when you help for the maintenance of the trails, packing food for charity, donating used books, clothing, furnitures or your blood. Last year in June, we cleaned and repaired one of the hiking trails in Warren, NJ for Citi Global Community Day. As nature lovers, it was nice for us to gather with people, work together in the nature on a sunny morning.

This year, June 10th, Saturday morning we enjoyed to participate in another Citi Global Community Day to pack food for charity in Community Food Bank, NJ. It was good to meet and work with Citibank employees and their families to sort and pack some donated food for Community Food Bank. We sorted out the canned foods, cereals, baking goods, drinks etc. Thanks to the people who think of the others and make donations. However, I’d lime to note some of my observations: Most of the donated foods were snacks like biscuits, crackers, chips and soda, i.e. junk foods. Also, unfortunately we had to discard considerable amount of breads, cakes and canned foods due to their expired dates and damaged packaging. Many cardbox and plastics had to be recycled. Then I though, to minimize waste and encourage a healthy living, instead of packed food, the community can provide healthy, fresh, nutritious and cooked food on-site for the people everyday like the temples do in India in a more sustainable way. I would be happier to participate on a regular basis to help preparing or cooking meal for these people. In any case, it was a selfless effort for those who participated, we did our best today and memorialized our volunteering activity by taking group pics.

After the volunteering event, we returned to home. I checked Food Bank’s website and learned that more than 42 million Americans are food insecure. Moreover, nearly 340,000 New Jersey children (almost 1 in 5 kids) don’t have enough food to eat, which has a direct effect on their physical and mental health! This is a horrible fact in a developed country like USA. It is great to do something for the community but I do not believe that we can help these people by just donating food. People need jobs, which pay decent salary to feed, stay healthy, shelter and also to educate their kids. For all of these, they again need community to provide them education and guidance for finding a good job. Fortunate people should invest more in production facilities to create jobs instead of pursuing ever higher amounts of interest or profits from their money.

Another thing that I want to mention is about blood donation. I had donated blood several times in the past and I suggested my friends to do so as well. I had an appointment for donating blood to Red Cross this very same afternoon. While I was surfing on the web, I learned that Red Cross sells the donated blood and explains that it does so to recover their blood processing expenses! This is nonsense. Red Cross is a non-profit institution, many people donate blood and money all over the world to maintain this institution to help for needy people. What is the point to donate my blood if they will ask a lot of money from the people when they need it. As a result, I decided to cancel my blood donation for Red Cross and will never donate any single drop until they start offering the same blood to the patients in need for free! It’s not because my blood is so precious, it’s about people being charged a very high amount of money for receiving blood treatment. Otherwise, I am always happy to start donating again if I know it is going to the people in need as a donation.

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