Sufi Service Committee of Boston
Every Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., volunteers from the House of Sufism provide a meal for residents at a homeless shelter in Boston's South End.<img src="http://www.nimatullahisufiboston.org/so-much-energy-in-volunteers.jpg">
We consider community service a central feature of Sufism, and to that end have committed ourselves to attempting to address the most pressing needs of our local community. This project started in Summer 2011, when our volunteers began walking around our Boston's South End and offering sandwiches to any of our neighbors who might have found themselves in need of a good meal. However, the scope of our project expanded rapidly, and for the past year, we have been working with a local homeless shelter, which helps settle once-homeless residents of our city and attempt to offer them a path towards stability and social integration. Having established a base out of which we can serve Sunday brunch has helped us improve our work in some very specific ways. Most importantly, it has enabled us to build relationships with the people we serve. Ensuring that people's material needs are met is certainly quite important, but the opportunity to develop relationships and foster human contact has a value all its own, one especially central to our spiritual practice.
For us, Sufism's most central doctrinal points are: 1) that everything that exists issues from a single source and 2) that this source is Love. The chance to break down social and economic barriers, cultivate friendships, and develop closer bonds with people in need therefore offers us a chance to realize the above points, because growing closer to other people gives us the chance to experience union with Love itself. and these are the principles on which all phenomena are ultimately based.
Though we believe that our work
with local charities has been successful up to this point, we always
need more help. There are two main ways for you to get involved. If
you'd like to serve brunch with us, we'd love to see you on any given
First time volunteers need to submit their application form first for an
informal interview. Advance notice is also helpful; you can reach us
If you would like to make a donation, you can mail a check to
SSC and include the word "charity" in the space for a memo (our mailing
address is 84 Pembroke St., Boston MA 02118), or you can send us money
via PayPal (once again, our e-mail address is
We always enjoy sharing our work with new volunteers! Please consider joining us when we serve brunch at a shelter. Members of the community we serve are also occasionally hospitalized. When they are, company proves even more important, so making hospital visits is also a valuable service; please don't underestimate how much you can help just by saying hello to someone in need of companionship.
There are also ways to help that involve less direct contact with those we serve. These include helping us recover food to donate, helping with the project's administrative work, and, of course, donating food or money.