In appreciation for the Somerset Valley YMCA opening its doors to the community as a place of refuge following Hurricane Sandy, the Hindu Temple and Cultural Society of USA Inc., in Bridgewater presented to the Y a check in the amount of $5,000.
“We are touched by the Somerset Valley YMCA’s generosity in extending its privileges to non-members during this crisis and we are pleased to be able to make a contribution in recognition of their extraordinary role in relief efforts,” said Sekhar Vemparala, a board member of the Hindu Temple and Cultural Society of the USA.
A day after the Oct. 30 storm, the Somerville Family YMCA branch opened up to residents who lost power, followed by the Hillsborough Family YMCA branch on Nov. 2. At the Y branches, residents were able to obtain hot showers, free toiletries, hot coffee, Wi Fi and power up their cell phones and laptops. Volunteers also stepped up and donated food and other supplies to the Y for those needed them.
During the next 12 days, more than 2,000 children, youth, teens, adults, seniors and families streamed in free of charge, member or non-member, to use Y services.
The Somerset Valley YMCA is a non-profit, which operates on donations, grants and membership dues.
Ed Whitney, chair of the Y’s Fund Development Committee, accepted the donation on Nov. 17 at the Sri Venekateswara Temple and Community Center in Bridgewater on behalf of the Y.
“Thank you for your very generous donation to the Somerset Valley YMCA,” Whitney said. “I am pleased to have been able to meet many of your members, who, without exception, expressed their caring and concern for our community. The Hindu Temple and Cultural Society is truly a good neighbor.”
In addition to the Y, the Temple also gave $10,000 to Gov. Chris Christie’s storm relief fund.
“We are happy that the board at the Hindu Temple and Cultural Society of USA Inc. is able to support the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, ” said Yugandhara Rao Vallabhaneni Chairman of the Temple and Cultural Society Board of Trustees.