Posted by Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry on April 28, 2007


In raamaayAN when SHRii Hnumaan was flying to cross the ocean to reach lNkaa where sitaa-DEvii (SRii raam's wife) was held by king raavAN after abducting her...Himaavt pARvt (mountain) rose from the ocean bottom and offered a resting place to Hnumaanjii....Hnumaanjii not know Himaavt and so asked him why a stranger was offering him this favour...and Himaavt said to Hnumaanjii:


The word sevaa in the study of vED means:

"a service of any kind that is offered to a fellow creation without being asked...and only with the knowledge that the person to whom whatever is offered in the form of sevaa is needed by the person. And in sevaa offer there is no expectation of a return or profit or a payback...sevaa is given simply for the sake of giving because the other person needs it for his/her own welfare....."

sevaa is also offered to carry out one's own DHARm to:

  • one's guru, Daevo, pitruo (forefathers), parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends,
  • strangers, employers and peoples of no or little personal relationships,
  • any fellow creations whose welfare could be enhanced or a dire life need could be fulfilled....

sevaa has many forms such as:

  • donations of money or material wealth, donations of time, donation of labour,
  • donation of physical, mental, emotional or spiritual care, donation of prayer, donation of a true wish; donation of a blessing,
  • donation of any material or knowledge possession one has, to donation of whatever is needed by another creation and you have it...... 

Ravana cuts Jatayu's wings, Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906)

King raavAN  cuts Jtaayu's wings when king raavAN was taking sitaa-DEvii (SRii raam's wife)  to lNkaa after kidnapping here from SHRii raam''s hermitage during SHRii raam''s 14-year exile to forest ordered by his stepmother kaikaiyee ( Painting by Raja Ravi Varma -848-1906)

Shown here is the scene when Ravana orders his troops to set Hanuman's tail on fire.

Shown here is the scene when king raavAN orders his troops to set SHRii Hnumaan's tail on fire after SHRii Hnumaan found kidnapped sitaa-DEvii in lNkaa.( Painting by Raja Ravi Varma -1848-1906)

In the present time era called kli-yug, performing sevaa according to one's DHARm is becoming a forced or imposed kARm and needs an incentive of "what is in it for me"....

But humanity cannot forget DHARm which ultimately sustains and nourishes all creations as per vED....when DHARm fails the creation faces self-destruction...

And to prove the above TRUTH from veD, Canadian The Globe and Mail published an article in January 2005 on how sevaa which is called VOLUNTEERISM FOR CHARITABLE PURPOSES in western world is highly recommended to be performed even in the corporate world where profit making seems to be the only motive for performing a kARm....

PVAF is publishing this news with a prayer that YOU will be inspired to perfrom sevaa for PVAF's EDUCATION PROGRAM TO REMOVE POVERTY.....

For details of the PVAF EDUCATION PROGRAM please click here

Or for participating in PVAF EDUCATION PROGRAM as a volunteer or donor please write to PVAF by clicking on the yellow name hilite....

Some "returns" of VOLUNTEERING are:
  • Doing good for others also means doing good for themselves;
  • Volunteers can gain transferable knowledge and job skills from doing charitable work which help in progressing in jobs;
  • Any time that you get to spend with your colleagues as part of a volunteering ream can strengthen your working relationship;
  • It's a double win. Not only something good is done, but volunteering further connects the bond between the people in the office and the public on whom business depends.
  • Creates in you: high level of motivation, well-developed interpersonal skills, dependability, strong organizational skills and the ability to work with limited supervision  which are required traits leading to promotions at work.
  • Students who volunteer develop social skills of interacting with people; show off pro-active nature, and also make contact with the social and business world which could help in getting employment during holidays and after graduation.
  • Seniors and retired people who volunteer continue to maintain their active lifestyle and active lifestyle is a key to health in retirement.


Please click on the next line to read the article on volunteering and also how a corporation can get a volunteering program going for its employees as part of its corporate social conscience to return to the society from which it profits.....


Doing good helps you do well at work

Corporate volunteerism grows as
companies realize host of benefits for
staff and themselves

Canadian The Globe and Mail: Wednesday, January 19, 2005: By SHIRLEY WON

Lesley Brown, an executive with Investors Group Inc. in Toronto, recently traded in her cellphone and high heels for a hammer and steel-toed work boots to help build some town homes in suburban Toronto.

Ms. Brown and 13 colleagues from the mutual fund giant didn't mind working through drizzling rain and cold winds for a day that might otherwise have been spent in a warm office because they were volunteering side by side for a worthy cause -- helping Habitat for Humanity erect affordable housing for low-income people.

"It's a double win," says Ms. Brown, vice-president of financial services for the Ontario region at Investors Group. "Not only are we doing something good, but we are doing something that further connects the bond between the people in the office."

Such corporate volunteerism is gaining momentum in Canada as more companies understand the business case for participating in charitable work.

Doing good for others also means doing good for themselves and their employees by helping to develop a variety of staff skills -- from team-building to leadership. Companies are also finding that corporate volunteerism helps to boost morale and loyalty, and can give them an edge in both recruiting and retaining talent.

Unlike a decade ago, when companies participated in charitable causes more for public relations reasons, they are now just as driven by the impact on employees, says Chris Pinney, vice-president of corporate citizenship for the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy.

The increase in corporate volunteerism is a welcome phenomenon against the backdrop of a decline in overall volunteerism in Canada in recent years, says management consultant Linda Graff, president of Linda Graff And Associates Inc. in Dundas, Ont. The latest figures from Statistics Canada, released in 2001, show that the number of volunteers in 2000 shrank to 6.5 million, down one million from 1997.

Company-sponsored efforts can range from allowing employees to modify their work hours or take time off without pay for community service to a more generous practice of permitting staff to do volunteer work on company time, also known as "release time."

As more companies choose the latter option, they are going a step further by sending teams of employees out together to work for charities for up to several days a year.

The charitable activities can range from helping to build homes for low-income Canadians to delivering meals to the elderly to sorting goods at food banks.

"It's not just cheque book philanthropy," Ms. Graff says. "We are now recognizing that volunteering gives back important benefits to the person engaged in it, and to employers who encourage their employees to become involved."

Her review of various studies indicates that volunteers can gain transferable job skills from doing charitable work, and that company-sponsored volunteerism can increase job satisfaction among employees.

These studies -- particularly in the United States and Britain, where the trend is stronger -- also show that corporate volunteerism helps employees gain "softer" skills, such as team-building, she says.

Perhaps because of these benefits, volunteers also may see their paycheques rise.

A 1998 study entitled The Payoff to Work Without Pay by economists at the University of Ottawa found that volunteer work helped boost annual earnings of volunteers over non-volunteers by 6 to 7 per cent.

Marlene Deboisbriand, president of Volunteer Canada, which promotes volunteerism, also points out that employees who work for companies that support volunteerism tend to be more loyal, which reduces the need to recruit and train replacements.

Many charities are seeing the benefits. Habitat for Humanity, which appears to be top of mind for many companies, says close to 150 firms sent teams of employees to the organization's construction sites last year, up from a mere half a dozen five years ago, says Neil Hetherington, chief executive officer of Habitat's Toronto chapter.

Some charities even have to turn volunteers away. Toronto's Daily Bread Food Bank, for instance, saw corporate bookings rise to about 40 in 2004's busy November-to-December period, about double the number during the same time the year before. It had to stop taking bookings over the holidays, says executive director Sue Cox.

Companies offering to help the food bank say that they think it's important for their people to "give back" to the community, but they are also motivated by providing opportunities for greater team-building, Ms. Cox says.

Investors Group's Ms. Brown says her company has sent out teams to work for one-day "builds" at Habitat for Humanity projects at different Ontario sites for the past four years. The recent experience in Toronto involved a combination of salaried employees like herself and self-employed financial advisers.

A survey of Canadians by Investors Group found that "giving back to the community is very high up in the client's opinion of corporations," but the firm is also aware of the team-building benefits of working together in a non-office environment, Ms. Brown says.

The Habitat for Humanity projects allow participants to "build unity in our team because you are focusing on the same thing," she adds. "Typically at work, you might have different agendas."

While Investors Group lets employees volunteer at the discretion of managers, other firms have a more formal policy of letting employees do their volunteering on company time.

One of them is Markham, Ont.-based Timberland Canada Co. Like its U.S. parent, the outdoor gear and apparel manufacturer gives its employees 40 hours of paid leave a year for community service.

This generous policy has helped to woo new employees like Evan Selby, who left his former employer to join Timberland two years ago when it opened a Canadian subsidiary. "It was one of the attractive things to me," because it shows the firm is dedicated to more than just making money, says the 33-year-old marketing manager, who has participated in company teams helping charities such as Habitat for Humanity.



Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd., based in Oakville, Ont., allows its managers and supervisors to take up to 16 hours of company time to volunteer each year. The program, which began in 2001, a year after its U.S. parent took the lead, stipulates that qualifying projects must involve teams of at least four people.

"It was set up to return some benefit to the company as well as to the community," says spokesman John Jelinek. "By requiring more than one or two employees to go out on a volunteer project together, you tend to build camaraderie and co-worker team-building."

Mobile equipment maker Ericsson Canada Inc. gives its employees up to three days of paid leave a year for volunteer work, but they can do it either in teams or as individuals. "Any time that you get to spend with your colleagues that is not always sitting around a boardroom table can strengthen your working relationship," says Ericsson communications manager Patricia MacLean.

KPMG Inc. of Toronto began a national program this fall to allow employees to volunteer at least one day a year on company time.

"That was a breakthrough for us because we are very hierarchical here," says Mary Lou Maher, chief of human resources. "We have partners, managers, chartered accountants and administrative assistants. . . . We thought it was really a benefit to the team as a whole in that everyone saw everybody on equal ground."

While these companies have formal policies of paid leave for volunteer work, more companies are like Mississauga-based Nissan Canada Inc., which give its managers discretion to allow employees to work for charities on company time. Employees delivering food to seniors for Meals on Wheels over the lunch hour once a week, have the flexibility to leave work a little earlier than usual and return a little later.

Donna Trawinski, who has been delivering meals during the past four of her 20 years with Nissan, says Nissan's attitude toward volunteerism is one of the reasons she stays with the company. "How they allow us to be involved with the community absolutely makes me feel better about being there," the communications manager says.

Toronto-based retailer Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. also allows employees to do volunteer work at the discretion of managers. For instance, employees in its human resources department spent a day at a local food bank, breaking into teams with different coloured T-shirts, says Janice Wismer, Canadian Tire's vice-president of human resources. "We believe strongly that community-based action is a really healthy and important way to develop our leaders."

The corporate volunteer program at Habitat for Humanity works in two ways. Typically, this charity asks that firms that send out employees to take part in its one-day building programs also donate $150 a person. Companies can also donate an amount to cover the entire cost of building a house, and have their employees work in teams building it over several months.

Toronto-Dominion Bank donated $150,000 to build a home in downtown Toronto last fall, and 150 employees worked on it during company time. The bank's CEO, Ed Clark, and other senior executives also participated one Sunday.

"We put together teams where we wanted people to get to know each other a little better," says Fred Tomczyk, TD's vice-chairman of operations. "When we put this up, we had to turn down volunteers because all different departments were putting up their hands."

TD is increasing its emphasis on volunteerism because a poll conducted among employees last spring indicated that the bank's charitable giving and volunteer efforts were "very important in terms of how they feel about the company," Mr. Tomczyk says.

"We like to think that will help us attract and retain better people . . . Our view is that people who are proud to work here will perform better."

Getting going in corporate volunteering

How companies can set up a corporate volunteer program:

  • Let employees choose whether to participate, and what kinds of activities to engage in. Explain the benefits to employees, the community and the company.
  • Make the program appealing. Consider allowing employees to do the volunteer work during company time -- a powerful motivator -- and offer the flexibility for them to participate in teams or as individuals.
  • Provide interesting opportunities. Survey employees about the kinds of volunteer work they would like to do. Staff will be more motivated to participate if they find projects that interest them and are fun.
  • Set up a formal program. Assign someone to administer and communicate support for it through the company's mission statement. Make sure managers have the resources to carry out their department's work when staff are away.
  • Build employee support. Consider letting employees bring spouses and children to fund-raising events. Employees who organize volunteer events can be recognized in the company newsletter or on the company website.

How employees can lobby for a corporate volunteer program:

  • Make a business case.
  • It may be easier to convince management if you can make it work for the company. Volunteer Canada (1-800-670-0401 or can provide advice on how to do so.
  • Pitch to management. Sell the idea to your human resources department or, in the case of smaller companies, a senior manager who can make those decisions. If they resist permitting volunteer work during company time, consider appealing for a flexible work schedule to permit volunteer work.
  •  Talk up a charity. Instead of pitching management on a corporate volunteer program, sell a specific project.


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