The Sathya Sai Centre of Scarborough takes great pride in its annual Christmas toy and food drive, built on the maxim of “love all, serve all” and practising Bhagawan’s teachings on the importance of placing a “ceiling on desires.” The programme is anchored around principles taught in the Sai Spiritual Education (SSE), and Sathya Sai children are the driving force behind the event. The toy drive has always been an opportunity for the children to practise the principles of the “ceiling on desires” programme with the additional goal of helping children and families in need.

The students first learn to distinguish between needs and wants in terms of use of food, money, energy, and time. Then they consciously manage these through exercising self-control. This is incorporated into the SSE curriculum and modelled as an assignment where the students record chores they have completed on a tracking sheet. Each chore is rewarded monetarily, at the discretion of parents or guardians. When the assignments are completed, the students tally up their earnings and submit the results to their SSE teachers, who use the proceeds to buy toys and food.

The purchased items are put on display to inspire and motivate Sathya Sai members and children of the Scarborough Centre. Working closely with the Salvation Army, the gifts are then distributed to families. When the toys are picked up for distribution, an interactive programme is also organised, wherein the SSE students get a chance to sing Christmas carols and play team-building games. The children are rewarded with the self-fulfilment that comes from seeing their efforts materialise into offerings that give joy to those in need.

Z1 Canada Toy Drive food items

Z1 Canada Toy Drive piles of toys

Z1 Canada Toy Drive Singing and Programme