SikhAid-USA – UNITED SIKHS Blog Recognize The Human Race As One Thu, 08 Feb 2018 05:44:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Can I donate blood if I have diabetes….? Wed, 24 Jan 2018 03:51:49 +0000

23rd Jan 2018, New York, NY: Donating blood is a selfless way to help others. UNITED SIKHS continues to live its objectives by contributing and doing selfless seva. To organize a blood drive in your region write to For more information on Blood Drives or other UNITED SIKHS Community Service initiatives, visit us at One of the common questions asked is, “Can I donate blood, if I have diabetes?”. A detailed study is provided below. As a  part of the Sikh Aid and awareness program we share the information below – Courtesy of

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may have questions about donating blood.

Blood banks are always in need of donations. During disasters and other emergencies, people often require blood transfusions to survive.

It’s only natural that people with diabetes will want to help in situations when blood transfusions are needed, and people with both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes can and do donate blood. It’s important to note that just one pint of blood can help up to three people in need.




The Diabetes Council has provided a detailed study to spread awareness on this subject.
Click the below link to see the details.

To donate blood with diabetes, your blood sugar needs to be in your target range. Your A1C should be less than 7%, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association. If your blood sugars and diabetes are not well controlled, you shouldn’t donate blood. Besides having your blood sugars in control, you should also have other conditions under control. For example, your blood pressure should be less than 180/100 mmHg to give blood, which is higher than 140/90 mmHg that is the recommended blood pressure for people with diabetes. Conversely, if your blood pressure is less than 90/50 mmHg, you won’t be able to donate blood.

Besides diabetes, they will also ask you about other conditions, and medications which you may be taking. Diabetes medications generally won’t keep you from giving blood in the US, but there is a Red Cross list of other medications that shouldn’t be taken if you are donating blood, including blood thinners. The Red Cross representative will screen you for conditions and medications which may affect your ability to donate blood with diabetes and related health conditions. Another thing to know is that if you plan to donate platelets, you should not take aspirin or blood thinners for several days prior to your donation.

Heart disease and donating blood

If you have heart complications from your diabetes, there are some things that you need to know. Heart disease will generally not stop you from donating blood if you have diabetes, but if it has been less than six months since you have had symptoms related to your heart disease, then you may not be able to donate. If your heart disease is stable and being treated, and you have had no issues in the last six months, such as chest pains or shortness of breath, you should then be okay to donate blood. You should also have no restrictions of activities due to your heart if you plan to donate blood.

To organize a blood drive in your region write to For more information on Blood Drives or other UNITED SIKHS Community Service initiatives, visit us at

Community Health Coordinator
Aditi Kaur

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Donate to the UNITED SIKHS Food Bank Today Sat, 21 Nov 2015 23:44:57 +0000 This Thanksgiving, give others a reason to be thankful too.

Last month, we announced the initiation of the first UNITED SIKHS food bank on the east coast of the United States. We are excited to begin collecting donations and working with volunteers this week to provide warm meals to as many people as possible in time for Thanksgiving, a North American holiday that emphasizes gratitude and sharing one’s bounty.

Just in New York alone, 1.7 million individuals live in poverty. For these people, providing basic necessities for themselves and their families is a daily battle. While many of us take the availability of food for granted, for 1,700,000 of our neighbors, it’s not guaranteed. For this reason, UNITED SIKHS has begun addressing the vast need of emergency food, with your help.

Get Involved in the Giving This Week!


 Join UNITED SIKHS on Sunday, November 22, at Glen Cove Gurudwara Sahib as we prepare hot meals for the homeless, which will be delivered to Fort Washington Men’s Shelter.


 On Tuesday, November 24th, UNITED SIKHS will kick off weekly donation and food-preparation days at Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar in Hicksville. Supporters can bring by vegetarian canned foods, monetary donations, or helping hands to assist in preparing warm meals, which will be transported to Bethany House shelter in Long Island, New York.

Food drop-off locations are listed below:

If you are unable to drop off food donations at any of these locations, please email us at or call us at 516.884.7976, and we can establish a convenient drop-off location.You may also email or call us if your gururdwara is interested in participating in our Food Bank initiative. Please click here to make monetary donations from our website.

Finally, you can sign up to become a UNITED SIKHS volunteer online by filling out this form.

Keep up to date on the food bank and other UNITED SIKHS initiatives by following our social media accounts: Facebook | Twitter

UNITED SIKHS Launches Food Bank on East Coast, USA Thu, 29 Oct 2015 16:23:40 +0000

UNITED SIKHS is humbled to announce the initiation of the UNITED SIKHS food bank in New York City, which covers all five boroughs – Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan, as well as the counties of Nassau and Suffolk in Long Island. To donate food cans for the bank, write to or to sign up as a volunteer, click here.

One of the pillars of the Sikh faith is the concept of Vhand Chakna, or sharing one’s possessions and blessings with others. Walking on the path of service as laid out in Sikhism, we are devoted to battling extreme hunger all over the world:

In Malaysia, UNITED SIKHS launched the Malaysia Foodbank Organization, raising funds with Good Will Walks in 2014 and 2015. Since its inception, the Malaysia Foodbank organization has provided over 150 tonnes of food to those who need it most, including the Orang Asli community, from which seven children went missing in August.

UNITED SIKHS extended its hunger relief efforts in 2010 by launching “Feed the Hungry” to feed the hungry in Canada:

UNITED SIKHS distributing food to the needy in Toronto, Canada in 2014. Click here to view more pictures.

The Guru Nanak Food Bank inaugurated in 2011 in Kenya continues to serve food to the needy.

Her Excellency, Mrs. Pauline Kalonzo signing the pledge for the Sri Guru Nanak Food Bank, a project of UNITED SIKHS.


Historically, Guru Angad Dev Ji’s wife, Mata Khiviji, planned and organized langar when people gathered for spiritual darbar during the times of Guru Nanak and continued the tradition through Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Mata Khivi and community members worked as a team to provide fresh, hot, and healthy food for everyone who gathered. This is how the tradition of langar began.

Langar has always been provided to whoever is in need of a meal, regardless of race, religion, caste, or gender. The Sikh faith teaches us to treat all human beings as equal when carrying out acts of selfless service, or seva. It is a blessing to be able to extend this concept internationally, and provide food to thousands of individuals who would otherwise go hungry. It is thanks to your support that we are able to carry out our mission of providing aid and assistance to the needy. Donate today to help support these programs.

Also needed are volunteers in three areas:

  • Logistics: Volunteers are needed for tracking where food goes, when food is needed in an area, how much is needed, where food donations can come from, etc.
  • Physical Distribution: Volunteers are needed to pick up and transfer food.
  • Operations: Volunteers in this group will execute the delivery remotely and report the status back to the project manager.

If you are interested in volunteering for this initiative, please contact, and fill out the join form.

We are excited to take this step in our effort to reduce hunger around the world with the addition of a food bank in New York, where 1.7 million individuals live in poverty. The foodbank will be located at the following address:

55 Broadway, Suite – D
Hicksville, NY 11801

Keep up to date on this issue and other UNTIED SIKHS initiatives by following our social media accounts:Facebook | Twitter

Sikh Community of Seattle Offers Helping Hand to Washington Wildfire Victims Sun, 18 Oct 2015 21:29:32 +0000 Seattle, Washington-UNITED SIKHS and the Sikh community of Washington have organized a relief effort in support of victims of the hundreds of wildfires that have devastated the state since July.

Community members gather at the check presentation ceremony in Washington State. Photo courtesy of The Chronicle.

Over the last few weeks, UNITED SIKHS’ United States Northwest region coordinator Balwant Singh worked with the Seattle Sikh sangat, or Sikh congregation, to raise a total of $20,000. Members of the six-family Omak Sikh community raised an additional $6,000. In total, a check of $26,000 was donated to the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, which manages multiple fire relief funds that aim to assist wildfire victims as effectively as possible by assessing specific needs and channeling donations directly to affected individuals. $15,000 of the donation was designated to the families of the three firefighters who have lost their lives since the fires began, with each family receiving $5,000. The rest of the money will be utilized directly for fire victims.

UNITED SIKHS is grateful for your continued support, which allows us to provide assistance victims and their families.


“God gave us the same color blood.”

During the check presentation ceremony, which took place at Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare, Harminder Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Kuldip Singh, Balwant Singh, and other members of the local Sikh community were present. Mayors Jon Culp and Cindy Gagne of Okanagan and Omak, respectively, attended the ceremony as well. Not only was this event an opportunity to provide seva, or selfless service, to those in need, but also a chance for the local Sikh population to build common ground with their fellow community members, comprised of Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike, and to present themselves as the supportive, concerned, and active citizens that they are. Balwant Singh addressed the community members in attendance, stating,”We are the Sikh people-different look, different faces. But the almighty God gave us the same color blood. God sent us here to help each other.”

This year, wildfires have burned over 8 million acres of land in the United States. Wildfires have been burning in Washington State since July, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate as numerous homes have been destroyed. Victims, firefighters, and evacuees are still in need of immediate assistance.

UNITED SIKHS is now collecting canned food and clothing for those affected by the wildfires. To donate, please contact

Part 1: Sri Mukhtsar Sahib: Awareness of cancer and organic farming. Sat, 06 Apr 2013 20:02:56 +0000 Sri Mukhtsar Sahib

18 March 2013.

With the present day technology, reaching any place is not difficult. There were times in the 60es and 70es in India when even going 300 km off the main highway was a problem; it took days to reach the destination. Taking the United Sikh’s goal of cancer awareness and organic agriculture in Punjab, we made our first stop in Sri Mukhtsar Sahib, the place which is famous for the epic history of the 40 Mukhte. Sri Mukhtsar Sahib is 60km North-West of Bathinda, the only big city nearby. An Ariel view of Sri Mukhtsar Sahib reveals that the place is surrounded by green fields. Globalisation has taken its toll there as nearly all products of all brands are available without any special effort.

Mukhtsar was in news for the reason it should have not been. In the recent Punjab State Government Cancer Awareness Survey, Sri Mukhtsar Sahib has the highest cancer prevalence, cancer incidence and second highest cancer suspect at 136.3, 343.7 & 446 (in persons per lakh) respectively amongst the total districts of Punjab. Also, Sri Mukhtsar Sahib, a place which lies in the Malwa belt of Punjab, a geographical area which is in news since the last 5 years regarding the high rate of cancer prevalence/detection and other fatal diseases with many deaths taking place whereby the chief reason claimed is high content of Uranium in ground water and over use of pesticides sprays in fields which seep into ground water and adding to the vows. The problem is definitely not new as these take at least 10-20years to take effect.

The problem is huge, sensing the same the United Sikhs team when to colleges, hospitals, farmers and questioned the members of the public for the their opinion and also gave some awareness points for a better living in the future. In this 5 part article series, opinions of various parties of Mukhtsar will be narrated.

Amitoj Singh
Coordinator, UNITED SIKHS India

Becoming an Eco-Sikh !! Thu, 14 Mar 2013 19:41:36 +0000  

 USLogo  EcoSikhPoster

UNITED SIKHS  in collaboration with EcoSikh is planning to outreach all their members and sangat about Sikh Environment Day.

Becoming an Eco-Sikh !!

15th March 2013, Fremont California:

Environmentalism and Sikhism are commonly looked upon as two completely separate theologies. It is only when we look closely at the Gurbani, we can see how important our environment is to basic Sikh spirituality.

Somehow in the mixture of the waves of immigration, and shifting our focus from an agrarian lifestyle to more post-modern modes of production, we have forgotten how intrinsic and crucial our environment is, and has been, to the existence of basic Sikh philosophy and history. We have armed ourselves with physical, political, and legal protections to keep each spiritual thread intact on our sacred bodies. Despite being miles and years apart from our traditional history as agrarian innovators in Punjab, we still maintain a spiritual thread that connects us to our past and spiritual homeland. A homeland that is being decimated by international corporations, corrupt politics, lack of regulations, economic impositions, and so many man-made health and environmental disasters. The very roots of our metaphorical spiritual hair, whose roots are embedded in the environment that inspired Guru Nanak to start a powerful religious movement, is being destroyed by our decisions as modern Sikh consumers. The cyclical impact that we have on our environment is a spiritual embedding in our beliefs as Sikhs, which is something that Guru Nanak, himself, stressed when he stated “Pawan guru pani pita mata dharth mahat.” (Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all).1
We must transform the question of “Who am I as a Sikh?” into “Who am I as an eco-Sikh?” Many of us will be surprised to find direct references to ecology in the Gurbani. But it is through the Gurbani where we will understand what our role as an ‘eco-Sikh” entails.

The Gurbani equates respect for every hair on one’s body to respecting all areas that God permeates, including forests, “O Nanak, He is pervading and permeating all places, the forests and the meadows, the three worlds, and every hair.” 2 If we, as Sikhs, are committed to maintaining our external and internal appearance as the gurus required, how can we ignore our duty to also maintain the environment? Caring for the earth is a not just a value that we must uphold, but is also a direct Hukam that aligns with the “Gurmukh’s path,” 3 “If someone is going to teach me something, let it be that the Lord is pervading the forests and fields.” 4 In aligning ourselves to this Hukam here are some steps that we can take to be responsible, environmentally conscious eco-Sikhs:

1. Planting Trees, replacing lawns with your own home-grown vegetables, and replacing your gardens with native plants and habitats. The Guru Granth Sahib states, “we shall reap the results of the seeds which we sow.” 5 We must engage in actions that promote sustainability for the whole planet. For more information on “food not lawns” please visit

2. Use bio-degradable and recyclable plates, knives, forks, and napkins. Composting is a great way to minimize the amount of trash thrown out, and to enrich the soil for your gardens. For more information on composting, please visit

3. Biking, walking, or taking public transportation instead of using a car is a great way to reduce carbon emissions in a healthy way.

4. If you cannot grow your own vegetables or fruits, as a consumer, you should choose to buy organic food from local farmers. Not only do you avoid exposing your family and the environment to the harmful effects of pesticides, but you also invest in local farmers and businesses.

5. Educate yourself and promote research in sustainable organic farming techniques.

The lasting effects of the Green Revolution that occurred in Punjab has unfortunately driven the “green” out of the revolution and has caused farmers in Punjab to look for alternative farming techniques. Heavy pressure for more food grain crops forced many of these farmers to focus on mono-cropping with the use of pesticides and insecticides. Increased dependence on pesticide use has drained the soil of its alkalinity and salinity; thus causing the soil to be unfit for growing crops, and further pressuring farmers to be dependent on chemicals to support the growth. This has resulted in irreparable damage to the farmers in Punjab and consumers. In addition to negatively impacting the environment, the use of pesticides and the depletion of the soil has caused many consumers to suffer from rare types of cancer at an alarming rate. By promoting research in sustainable organic farming techniques, areas such as Punjab and our own local farms will be able to farm organically, in an economically sustainable fashion. This will also maintain healthy soil, environment, and nutritious crops.

It is our responsibility to treat our sacred environment with as much respect as we treat our bodies and appearance as Sikhs. This is not a change that we make on one day of the year, but a lifelong commitment that we make with the environment and with God.

1. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 8, line 10.
2. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 133,, line 13.
3. Singh, Jagtaran. “Sikhism the Green Religion.” SikhNet | Sharing the Sikh Experience. N.p., 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. <
4. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 92, line 12.
5. ” Saving Environment” WaheguruNet Sikhism info – WaheguruNet. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. <>.
Amitoj Singh
Coordinator, UNITED SIKHS India



 4th Sep 12:05 am
 The Milwaukee police along with the FBI reached out to the home of the Caucasian male and found stash and a pile of guns . No arrest has been made of yet.  The security around the temple has been increased.


Thousands Evacuated as Hurricane Isaac engulfs Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Fri, 31 Aug 2012 17:20:51 +0000 Thousands Evacuated as Hurricane Isaac engulfs Louisiana and the Gulf Coast
Aug 31st, 2012, 16th Bhadon (Samvat 544 Nanakshahi


• UNITED SIKHS is looking for volunteers to assist victims of Hurricane Isaac
• Thousands of people have been rendered homeless, thousands are without power,  thousands are surviving with little or none to eat. Please help us make a substantive change and donate generously to the UNITED SIKHS Hurricane Isaac Relief Fund.
• Hurricane and storm warnings stretch across Louisiana , Florida, Mississippi and Alabama.  New Orleans residents note unexpected flooding patterns
• UNITED SIKHS – UMEED sets up Disaster Support Helpline for victims of Issac at 1-855-878-6333

New Orleans, Lousiana:  President Barack Obama has declared federal emergencies for Louisiana and Mississippi as Hurricane Isaac has left hundreds of thousands without power and its path of devastation has left many stranded. UNITED SIKHS Emergency Response Team (US-ERT) encourages everyone in the affected regions to take the necessary precautions and prepare for local flooding as fallen trees and debris are causing property damage and power outages. UNITED SIKHS is working with governmental agencies to assist with the response and recovery. For information on what to do in case a Hurricane strikes visit

Thousands of people have been rendered homeless, thousands are without power, thousands are surviving with little or none to eat. Please help us make a substantive change and donate generously to the UNITED SIKHS Hurricane Isaac Relief Fund.
The hardened conditions have caused cancellation of blood drives which is projected to cause a shortage of blood products in the affected areas. All eligible donors in parts of the region affected by Isaac are encouraged to call 1-800-RED CROSS or UNITED SIKHS.

There is an immediate need for volunteers with experience in:
1) shelter supervision
2) preparation of hot-meals
3) distribution of relief items
4) trauma counseling

The UNITED SIKHS Sikh AID team has initiated a discovery process and the current requirements are being assessed. If you want to become a part of the SIKH AID Team please write to and fill up the volunteer form available here.
US ERT and UMEED, a UNITED SIKHS National Family Resource center with a 24 hour helpline – 1-855-US-UMEED (1-855-878-6333) also provides additional services which include disaster support services, Family Services, Educational support programs and financial services. Please help US-ERT support the people effected by Issac. Donate generously by clicking here.

To speak to a UNITED SIKHS representative directly, please visit
to find an office near you.                                                          
Issued By:
Gurvinder Singh, Director
Chief Response Officer
Tel: 1-646-688-3525;1-888-243-1690

Sikhs Killed in USA Terror Attack on Sikh Gurdwara (place of worship) Sun, 05 Aug 2012 22:40:46 +0000 Sikhs Killed in USA Terror Attack on Sikh Gurdwara (place of worship)

Dr Harcharan Gill, who was at the scene said, “The police response was quick but the paramedic team waited for almost two hours to go inside the Gurdwara building,  sensing the possibility of of another shooter, which was not the case. The community is in deep shock, we never thought that this could have happened with us.”

i) As of now, 6 Sikhs and the gunman have been confirmed dead with multiple wounded (at least 2 dozen).
UNITED SIKHS has executed the following actions:
(ii) Set up a Task Force to work with law enforcement agencies in the USA to ensure that the Sikh community is reassured of its safety
(iii)Extended our National Helpline at 1-855-US-UMEED for the Wisconsin Gurdwara incident victims
 (iv)Called on the Sikh community to be vigilant and to step up security without causing an alarm but by being on alert.
 (v)Called on the interfaith community to show solidarity by holding prayer vigils in places of worship
 (vi) Mobilized the UNITED SIKHS Emergency Response Team which is on its way to Wisconsin..
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 5th Aug 2012 – UNITED SIKHS strongly condemns the shooting of innocent Sikhs attending a morning prayer service today at a Gurdwara (place of worship) in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek. This is very disturbing news for the entire Sikh American Community and the Sikh diaspora worldwide. The incident has been labeled as a well organized crime of terror. Reports suggest that the initial perpetrator was a heavy build, bald, white male who had two handguns and started shooting at the devotees indiscriminately in the Gurdwara parking lot as they were heading for the morning service.

The gunman also shot a police officer attending to the crime scene, multiple times. Reports also suggest of children and the head priest being held as hostage inside the temple premises. Multiple people have been shot and the number of fatalities as of now, including one gunman, are seven. There are reports of bodies lying in the temple parking lot.

We request community members to stay alert and inform law enforcement agencies and UNITED SIKHS about any suspicious activity. We are in constant touch with the White House, the DOJ, FBI and local law enforcement. We have received the following message from the White House:

“The President was alerted to the shooting incident in Wisconsin at 12:51PM Eastern and continues to be updated by federal law enforcement agencies.  We will keep you posted.”

As of now 6 Sikhs are confirmed dead:  1 Kathavachak (spiritual discourse giver), 2 sewadars (helpers) at the Gurdwara (place of worship), one woman, one old gentleman, and the  identity of another is unknown. The single gunman is also confirmed dead.

“This act of terror has left the community in shock and we are counting on law enforcement agencies to make a statement soon to reassure the community,” said Manwinder Singh, UNITED SIKHS community advocacy director.

We will keep you updated on the latest developments.  Let’s pray together for the innocent victims in this hour of crisis.

Issued by:
Jatinder Singh
P: 1-510-421-0538 | 1-888-243-1690 | 1-646-688-3525

To speak to a UNITED SIKHS representative directly, please visit  to find an office near you.

Call for Laptop Donations for Hospital Facility in Kenya Wed, 27 Jun 2012 00:56:53 +0000 Community Appeal
Immediate Need of Laptops at Siaya Hospital in Rural Kenya

  • Need 15-inch laptops in working order with batteries and a minimum of 1 GB of RAM. Hard drives are optional. Ship to UNITED SIKHS 39126 State Street, Fremont, CA 94538
  • 15000+ patients seen since April 2012 using the open-source technology supplied by MediGrail LLC.
  • The work accomplished can be seen at:

San Jose, CA: UNITED SIKHS is putting a  fervent and immediate call for LAPTOP DONATIONS! A team of high school students is leaving for a trip from the West coast to Kisumu, Kenya in mid-July 2012. We have a window of opportunity that should not be missed.

The laptops are to be put to immediate use at Siaya District Hospital, a 220-bed government facility in rural Kenya, to access medical records. The complete hospital medical records system has been setup by volunteers of UNITED SIKHS with technology donated by MediGrail LLC, a Bay Area startup, on a non-profit basis. The founders of MediGrail and UNITED SIKHS volunteers  continue to work on this project and donate their time on a DAILY basis.

The laptops deliver incredible value to the staff and increase facility productivity.  They are loaded with these open-source applications:
Word processor and spreadsheet which can read the latest Microsoft file formats
Network file server access, printing capability, chat utility and PDF viewer

To date, the system has seen about 15K patients since the system went live in April 2012. Staff is able to submit reports to the central government and check their pay stubs on-line – saving them time. They are able to quickly retrieve patient records without the patient making an extra trip to the records department. They are able to look at patient history beyond the currently limited new year date. They are able to print payment receipts easily. This has lowered the costs and increased the quality of care.

And more can be done… the project is already a success,  it can become a huge success with your TIMELY donation. Hard drives are optional. Please ship immediately to UNITED SIKHS, 39126 State Street, Fremont, CA 94538

 Gurvinder Singh
National Director, Humanitarian Aid
P: 1-469-222-6288
F: 1-810-885-4264