Windsor, Ontario Sikhs Join Canadian Sikh Community Generousity Bandwagon From Coast To Coast


WINDSOR – Windsor, Ontario Sikhs join Canadian Sikh Community Generousity Bandwagon from coast to coast in donating truckloads of food for the needy.


Three truckloads of food were just part of the mountain of donations to Windsor’s Street Help Homeless Centre last week by the local Sikh community, reported Windsor Star.


“They’re such a wonderful group of people with a wonderful spirit of giving,” Street Help administrator Christine Wilson-Furlonger said of the Windsor Sports & Culture Centre’s holiday donations. “We are very grateful — they show us so much love.”


In addition to filling up the homeless centre’s depleted pantry shelves, the WSCC, in its 14th year of giving to Street Help, also donated more than 75 sleeping bags, 70 blankets and comforters, 40 pairs of winter boots, hygiene products and a $1,000 cheque.


The offerings to Street Help were the result of the WSCC’s winter holiday donation drive, said Sukhpal Banga, secretary of the social organization.


Sikhs don’t celebrate the religious meaning behind Christmas, but “we celebrate with our Christian friends,” said Banga. “The main thing is, we help the community through the Christmas holidays.”


Banga estimates there are about 1,000 Sikh families in the Windsor area. Additionally, he said, there are several thousand foreign students from the Indian subcontinent currently taking classes in Windsor, a large number of them enrolled at St. Clair College.


Banga said members of the non-profit WSCC organize sports tournaments — basketball, volleyball, soccer, kids’ races — and fundraise within the community for a number of area charities, for which they also volunteer.


“They adopted us as a charity in the community … it’s been quite a blessing to us,” said Wilson-Furlonger.


“The nice, warm comforters and a lot of beautiful sleeping bags were really needed, so needed,” she said. Her agency is seeing a growing number of local homeless, which is why it ran out of sleeping bags earlier this year for those who sleep in the streets.


The donated foods, she said, “will make a lot of great warm meals.”