Sri Siva Vishnu Temple began with the concept of bringing Hindus together, but
increasingly it has become a place that brings together Hindu customs and
heritage with American values of community and volunteerism. In a new
millennium, it will be a symbol of the Hindu community in America.
SSVT's commitment to this future is already in evidence. In 1997, it launched
the Children's Fund in an effort to develop youth and education programs and
meet the needs of a fast-growing Hindu population in Washington. In 1998, SSVT
is developing a new initiative on community service and volunteerism, focusing
on Hindu families as well as the broader community.
As the Hindu community has grown, its needs have diversified, and
increasingly, more families need help in dealing with illness, coping with
grief, mentoring young people and assisting seniors. SSVT will draw on its
greatest resource -- its volunteers -- to tackle some of these new problems. In
a new project with other like-minded groups, SSVT volunteers in Mitra
Mandala, or Circle of Friends, will provide a compassionate ear to those
in need and assist them in obtaining relief from service organizations in the
SSVT will undertake service projects beyond the Hindu community, offering
help through local charities such as soup kitchens and shelters. Youth will play
an important role in this effort to fully embrace the needs of the Hindu
community and its role in the community at large: Just as SSVT began in 1976 in
the minds of a few recent immigrants from India, its future lies in the hands of
younger generation and its vision for a Hindu community in America.