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November 2013
VT Seva
VT SEVA NEWSLETTER
Your Support is our Strength to Serve

Dear Friends of VT Seva,

With support from each one of you, VT Seva is continuing its successful journey of serving the society. It has given us immense joy to witness the active participation of youngsters in all the activities we have organized in the past 2 months. We are also very pleased to experience the positive difference we can have on our communities while volunteering together with other organizations.

As October was a Breast Cancer Awareness month, our teams have organized Health Seminars, Awareness Walk-a-thons, Fund raiser for a Kidney transplant and Bone Marrow Drives in many cities. This November is a month of Deepavali (Festival of lights) which signifies the importance of lighting a lamp instead of cursing the darkness. To celebrate the occasion, our teams have organized many benefit events and activities such as cultural shows, walk-a-thons and sports tournaments to support the education of blind.   
Light a Lamp

With the advent of thanksgiving month and founder's day, we are happy to announce that we have begun active volunteering at local homeless shelters, food banks, community congregations
and helping the needy by preparing, cooking and serving the food. Couple of activities were organized to raise environmental awareness and protection. You can reach out to your local city branch director to learn about the continuing activities planned for rest of the year.

From this edition onwards, we will be sharing at least one inspirational story of our hall of fame young volunteers. Reach out to us if you have a story to share.

We hope you enjoy this Newsletter and we look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Krishna Kanth (Secretary) - 972-935-8955
Kiran Vangala (Joint Secretary) - 513-315-5719
http://www.vtsworld.org
https://www.facebook.com/vtsworld
Latest Activities in US
Grand Success - Seattle organizes UTSAV to fund 100% of the students of Netra Vidyalaya School

Just like 2012, VT Seva Seattle team repeated the history of raising awareness and funds to support the education of all the students of Netra Vidyalaya (School for Visually Challenged) at Vizianagaram, AP, India by organizing their annual event 'UTSAV - Celebrate Success of the Blind.'

The event was organized on Oct 26th, 2013 at Skyline High School, Issaquah auditorium. Once again, Seattle patrons have opened up their large hearts and supported the event with a lot of generosity. This year, we had an attendance of 400 kind hearts. 100% of the funds raised (from individuals and businesses) for the event will go towards the cause with ZERO OVERHEAD.

Netra Vidyalaya students sent us handmade pieces of art which we distributed as our mementos for the event to the participants. They were surprised and super happy about how good the art work is. For details and picture, click here.
Lives Saved - Dallas organizes 3rd Annual Cancer Awareness Walk-A-Thon - 'Walk for Life'
VT Seva Dallas organized its 3rd annual Cancer awareness walk-a-thon on Oct 5th. Cancer afflicts all regardless of race, creed, or country. Thus we must be ready to combat it at all costs without any reservations or fears. Once again, VT Seva Dallas Team organized its annual Cancer Awareness walk to raise community awareness for cancer and sponsor screenings as well as cancer research. For photos from the event, click here . For videos, click here, especially to watch the testimonial of a Cancer survivor and VT Seva's impact in saving lives.

It was a cloudy Saturday morning when 250 members arrived at Russell Creek Park. Preparations were made, signs erected, and the path marked out. About a 100 youth members from the community were involved this year and the event kicked off with an interview with TV9. Various youngsters spoke about the goals of the event and demonstrated their support and experience with VT Seva. VT Seva Dallas branch director Ms. Sumana thanked all the supporters and mentioned that with the funds raised from 2012 walk, we were able to sponsor Hematology equipment (Blood cell Count Machine) for JIMS Hospital. Click here for more details.
VT Seva Bay Area raised the funds towards kidney transplant surgery of  Mr. Venu Gopala Reddy. He had a kidney transplant with the organ donated by his mother in 2010. The kidney failed three years later and now, he is in urgent need of an operation to save his life. Because of the illness, Mr. Venu Gopala had to give up his job. His wife takes him to the hospital for treatments, tends to their school age children and works at night as a tailor.

Efforts are in place to actively look for a matching donor. As soon as a donor match is found, VT Seva will disburse funds to the concerned hospital. We will keep you posted on Mr. Venu's health. This is an example of the importance of organ donation. If you have not registered yet, do it without further delay. Stay tuned for Multi Organ donation awareness and registration events in your city.
Engaging Youth - New Jersey organizes 5K Walk to support the Visually Challenged

On Sunday October 27 2013, the young volunteers of VT Seva New Jersey planned and participated in a 5K walk-a-thon, to help support the Netra Vidyalaya school for the visually challenged. The youth team diligently and energetically participated in the walkathon and gave 101% of their spirit to conduct a successful event.

The walkathon took place at Etra Lake Park in East Windsor, NJ. The youth team was also given the challenge to raise the funds in their neighborhood. Everyone gladly pitched in and went around their neighborhood over the weekend, spending their time doing a benevolent act rather than taking advantage of a work-free weekend. All of the young volunteers managed to not only collect a generous amount of funds, but also managed to spread awareness about VT Seva in their community. Not only did they collect the funds for the walkathon, but they worked diligently on the posters and slogans that were used in the walk. Some of the more excited youngsters participated in the running race.

Thanks to the hard work of the young team of volunteers, the event was conducted successfully, and received positive feedback from the participants of the walkathon. The youngsters had much fun, and got more educated on social service activities that they can conduct themselves. Click for pictures and more details.
 
'Breast Health 101: Prevent Breast Cancer or Detect It Early' seminar by Houston VT Seva and Indo-American Cancer Association Network (IACAN)

VT Seva and the Indo-American Cancer Association Network (IACAN) joined hands to present "Breast Health 101: Prevent Breast Cancer or Detect It Early". The event,  organized at the Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple in Sugar Land was well attended. Ms. Kanchan Kabbad, President of IACAN, introduced IACAN and its work. This was followed by a presentation on VT Seva and its global activities by Dr. Aparna Tamirisa, VT Seva member. The Panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Julie Nangia, a breast oncologist and Assistant Professor of Oncology at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Tamara Ortiz-Perez, an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the Baylor College of Medicine, presented a comprehensive talk on the different breast radiologic techniques and their role in early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. Following this, the risk factors, prevalence trends, and treatment modalities for breast cancer were presented very succinctly and effectively by Dr. Polly Niravath, breast oncologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology at the Baylor College of Medicine.

The presentations were followed by a video and talk by Mrs. Mona Bangia, a breast cancer survivor. Ms. Bangia gave a very moving account of her challenges when diagnosed with breast cancer. Click for pictures and more details.
 
Boston organizes 5K Walk to support the Visually Challenged
Inspired by our VT Seva CEO HH Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji and the accomplishments by the Netra Vidyalaya students, VT Seva Boston Team has commemorated the World Sight Day [2nd Thursday of October] by organizing its 3rd Annual 5K walkathon on September 28th 2013. The focus was to raise awareness for visual impairment and blindness worldwide and raise funds for Visually challenged students enrolled in Netra Vidyalaya in Andhra Pradesh. Click for pictures and more details.





 

 
 
Sport meets Service in New York
 
"They may not be able to see, but they have vision." speaks for the cause. VT Seva Albany in partnership with Albany Telugu Association organized 2nd annual Volleyball tournament on Sep 14th and Sep 15th to raise awareness and funds towards education of visually challenged.

During this event, we raised funds to support 12+ visually challenged college students for an year and awareness was raised in Albany, NY area about VT Seva activities world wide. There were 12 teams that registered to extend their support. About 150+ witnessed the event both days together. It was a wonderful 2 day event filled with sport for a good cause.

Young volunteers helped at the front desk, food desk, setup nets and help referee as line man while other volunteers helped setup nets and serve as referees, maintain scores, match tally, capture the moments etc. Each and every one came forward in doing their part to putting this event together. Click for pictures and more details.  
News from new branch, VT Seva Detroit
VT Seva started their activities in Detroit region by conducting Volleyball Tournament on September 14 at Founders Parks, Farmington Hills, Michigan. Eight teams part
icipated in the first edition and around 80 people came to support the event. The aim of the event was to generate funds for the Netra College, Hyderabad to sponsor laptops and support the education of visually challenged. Event was successfully organized with the help of youth volunteers, who were actively involved. VT Seva volunteers Veena, Swati, Hema and Madhavi prepared food. Trophies were presented by VT Seva, Detroit secretary Mr. Sudhakar Kolluri. The event was well supported by DTA, miindia.com, dtwdesi.com and Namaste Flavors.   

The Gleeners Food Drive KHK & Volunteer Coordinator Ms. Jenna Yuhase writes "Thank you so much for bringing your group to Gleaners on 9/21/13!  We were very impressed by your dedication to serving our hungry neighbors.  You sorted and packed 3,073 lbs of food which equates to 2,560 meals!  We hope you enjoyed your experience and would love to have you out again." 
Atlanta team volunteers at AARP food boxing event

VT Seva, Atlanta team participated in AARP food boxing project held at Georgia World Congress Center on October 5th, 2013.

 

It was an incredibly atypical project but VT Seva along with other volunteer organization in metro Atlanta came through with a lot of enthusiasm. The end results were over 3,000 boxes were packed, over 120,000 pounds of food will be distributed to AtlantaFood Bank Community (ACFB) partner agencies, all the volunteers were safe, AARP was extremely pleased, and the Food Bank received over $106,000 worth of food and dollar donations.

 

The ACFB volunteer coordinator Suzzane Roush appreciated all volunteer groups participated and made this special event a great success.



Humble beginning with Holistic Care - Bloomington Health and Wellness Seminar

Oct 19th, 2013 - Health and Wellness seminar was organized for the first time in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois and was extremely successful.

The presenters were

Dr. Anu Kantamneni, Women's Health Specialist
Dr. Banu Vakkalanka, Oncologist
Jolene Clifford, Community Health Educator
Anita Deoskar, Exercise Physiotherapist and Nutritionist
Medha Patwardhan, Dietitian and Diabetic Educator

Dr. Kantemneni disscused about women's overall physical and mental health and well being. Dr. Vakkalanka raised awareness about certain cancers prevalent in Indian women, Ms. Clifford shared information about breast cancer and early detection, Mrs. Deoskar presented about the importance of exercise, yoga and meditation. She educated the attendees about stress and its consequences. Mrs. Patwardhan addressed about Indian diet and the importance of organic food and nutrition. The question and answer session gave more information about how women can be more proactive and advocate change in our everyday lifestyle. In the feedback notes, most attendees wished for a similar seminar for men.

The health seminar was appreciated for its holistic presentation of various inter-related topics by practicing professionals. The chapter looks forward to conduct a seminar for men in February. Topics like heart disease, prostate cancer, diabetics and nutrition will be presented by area professionals.
. Click for pictures.
 
Houston Volunteers organize 5K Walk & Environment Fair
On the misty morning of Septmber 28th at the Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land, the stage was set for the United Ecoskies VT Seva 5K Walk.

As registrants rolled in, VT Seva members Satya Pappu, Sahitya Gadiraju and team were busy at the registration booth signing in participants. The morning started off with energetic music from the DJ and encouraging remarks from event emcee and VT Seva volunteer Nina Tamirisa t
o get all the participants ready for the walk ahead. This was followed by the opening of ceremonies by Sugar Land councilman Mr. Harish Jajoo who spoke very inspiring words about the environment and our role in maintaining a healthy and clean environment for all.

Dr. Ranga Kandala, VT Seva Co-branch Director, presented a plaque to Mr. Jajoo on behalf of VT Seva in recognition of his support of the event and the organization. Mr. Jajoo in fact declared that the 5K walk would be an annual affair for the public. After Mr. Jajoo's rousing speech, United Airlines' Senior Environmental Specialist Mr. Michael Cotter spoke about the event and the United Ecoskies program. Dr. Sahitya Gadiraju, VT Seva Co-Branch Director, presented a plaque to Mr. Cotter on behalf of VT Seva in recognition of United Ecoskies' commitment towards the community and the environment. VT Seva volunteers Radhika Sanamvenkata, Shashi Sanamvenkata, Aruna Gorantla and team who were the United employees responsible for helping obtain the United Ecoskies grant were also recognized on stage.  Click for pictures and more details.

 

Give a Swab & Save a life - Tampa Bone Marrow Drive


VT Seva Tampa along with SAMAR and Gujarat Samaj of Tampa Bay organized Bone Marrow Drive on Oct 26th.

Thousands of patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, sickle cell and other life-threatening diseases depend on the Be The Match Registry´┐Ż to find a match to save their life.

Patients need donors who are a genetic match (HLA). Even with a registry of millions, many patients cannot find a match. Donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds are especially needed.Especially South Asians odds of finding a match when in need are very low due to insufficient registries. VT Seva young volunteers did their part on this day in raising awareness and encouraging one and all to register.

 

Click here for pictures.  

 

 

 

On Nov 9th,  Students from University of South Florida along with other volunteers Served food to more than 400 people at Hindu Temple of Florida on the occasion of Deepavali.

 

VT Seva thanks all the youngsters for their volunteer services to serve the local community. 

 

Click here for pictures. 

Youth Led - San Antonio serves local community
 
Environmental Project: This event was lead by our teen leader Ashwin Chary, under the guidance of Dr. Mrudula Thangada and Ms. Praneetha Billa. His positive attitude and friendly nature encouraged other kids in the group in making this event success. The group cleaned Big Springs neighborhood area here in San Antonio. We had wide variety of age groups including little kids around 6 and 7  participate in this event with great enthusiasm. Click here for pictures.  
 
Spread awareness: We setup a booth during city Deepavali celebrations. This booth was organized and coordinated by Praneetha Billa. It was led by - Gopinath Thangada, Rithvik Pakala, Pranav Billa, Abhishek Thuralapti. This group helped spread  awareness in the local community about the importance of volunteering and giving valuable time to serve and help the community. Our youth had positive energy in motivating fellow local community to volunteer their time, talents and support the underprivileged. We had good number of people sign up and willing to participate in our future VT Seva events.Click here for pictures. 

5,000 meals to feed individuals at DC Central Kitchen
 
VT Seva Washington DC team of volunteers took part in cooking food at DC Central kitchen on Nov 5th.

Michael F. Curtin, Jr., CEO of DC Central Kitchen wrote "Thanks so much for volunteering with DC Central Kitchen! I hope you had a great experience.Your time and hard work in the kitchen resulted in 5,000 meals to feed individuals at DC Central Kitchen's partner agencies, including other nonprofits, homeless shelters, and halfway homes."



Volunteering Time & Talent to support visually challenged
Rasagnya Kota is a very kind hearted and helpful young volunteer in VT Seva NJ, who is a senior in High School. Over the summer, she traveled to our Nethra Vidyalaya, college for the visually challenged in India, and spent her vacation helping visually challenged students, and taught few classes there. She befriended all of the students and reported that she had tons of fun! Now her generous heart has outdone itself. Rasagnya is a classical Indian dancer and recently had her own arangetram (which is a graduation from dance where the student has to dance many songs), in a school auditorium. Instead of keeping the gifts, she selflessly donated them to our college for the visually challenged in India. In addition to these selfless acts, Rasagnya sponsored 3 visually challenged kids on the occasion of her birthday. Click here for more details. 
 
 
 
Latest Activities & Updates from India
Welcome to VT India new committee!
We would like to announce that VT India has new President, Mr. Ramesh Gupta. VT Seva CEO HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami expressed that the new committee under his leadership will continue to render excellent services.

We express our sincere appreciation to VT past president, Mr. Mahender Reddy Kundoor for all the successful activities done under his leadership. He will continue to serve the organization in the capacity of an adviser. 
 
Cancer Prevention & Screening Camps
A free cancer awareness and early detection camp has been organized by VT Seva volunteers in Nalgonda, AP.

Details of the camp -

Total No. of patients checked.: 260.
Gynaec.& breast check: 130.
VIA planned for : 10
Mammogram advised for: 3
# of Doctors: 8
# of Para medicals: 30
# of Volunteers: 60

The camp was coordinated by VT Seva central committee and VT Seva Nalgonda. VT volunteers, Angawadi teachers and ASHA foundation volunteers with full co-operation of the Jt. collector Sriman Neela Kantamji. Dist. health & med. dept., Sarpanch of the Kanagal village rendered excellent services. Local public representatives Mr. Komati reddy Venkata Reddy, M.L.A. and Mr. Sukhender Reddy ,M.P. graced the occasion & promised help for the health camps.

Another camp was conducted in Miryalaguda. Out of 180 patients checked, 40 of them had Breast examination and 16 of them were reported positive to infections in the primary screening. They were asked to come for further checkups after attending to the infections.
Multi Organ Donation Walkathon - Save the Date
On December 29th, 2nd annual 'Together We Care - Multi Organ Donation Awareness' walk-a-thon will be organized in India on a large scale engaging one and all to pledge for organ donation. Click on details from 2012 event. Stay tuned for more details.