My senior year (1997) at the University of Michigan, The Indian American Students Association (IASA) had a novel idea. Why not create a Gandhi Day of Service where people perform volunteer work in honor of his birth anniversary? The next year the idea was picked up nationally and is now in its sixth year. Tomorrow, schools and organizations around the country will participate. From the NGDOS website:
MISSION: National Gandhi Day of Service (NGDOS) is an annual event sponsored by South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT) to inspire and empower people around the world through civic engagement and community service. Participants will be united through Gandhi’s common values of equality, tolerance and nonviolence, regardless of ethnicity, racial or religious background.
VISION: To establish NGDOS as a widely recognized and well-respected event that fosters involvement in community service and civic engagement. NGDOS will provide the platform for meaningful service that highlights the universal beliefs of compassion, selflessness, and unity.
HISTORY OF NGDOS: The First Gandhi Day of Service took place on October 4, 1997 at the University of Michigan. Organized by the Indian American Student Association (IASA), their vision was to unify people through the common goal of serving communities in need. On that day, 200 students throughout the campus collaborated for a day of speakers, group interaction, and a range of volunteer projects. The tremendous response received for Gandhi Day of Service led to its expansion in 1999. The First National-level Gandhi Day of Service was a huge success, involving 20 universities and 2000 students nationwide.
Last year, over seven thousand volunteers from over two hundred universities and organizations contributed over twenty five thousand hours of community service in memory of the teachings and spirit of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Join us this October and help make the sixth annual Gandhi Day an even bigger success!
Please check out their site and volunteer if you can.