CALIFORNIA: Thousands of grateful residents attended the Boys & Girls Clubs on W. Lowell Avenue in Tracy on Saturday for the annual free giveaway of new winter clothing made possible by Sandhu Brother Farms and the surrounding Sikh community.
An estimated three thousand men, women and children picked out new coats, gloves, socks and blankets in an event that continues to touch thousands of lives each year.
Now in its twentieth year, the event is organised by Tracy Sikhs and spearheaded by Karnail “Mike” Singh Sandhu, co-owner of world renowned Almond farmers, Sandhu Brothers Farms.
Winter clothing is also being distributed in Stockton, Modesto, Berkeley and, for the first time, Chico, to serve people who lost their homes and clothing in the recent wildfires.
The clothing giveaways are a way of honoring the sons (Sahibzade) of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who were confined in freezing conditions prior to attaining martyrdom, Karnail Singh said.
Approximately $100,000 was raised for this year’s clothing drive in Tracy and around $250,000 in total for clothing drives at all locations. Volunteers from all communities and backgrounds attend to help distribution of clothing throughout the day.
PJ Sandhu, CEO and founder of Crown Nut Co., says the need for Sikhs to integrate in the greater community and been shown in a positive light is his motivation behind the event.
Karnail Singh remains thankful to God for being able to organise clothing giveaways for the community over the past twenty years:
“God has given us everything. When I moved here, the first house I rented didn’t have windows, so only God”.