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Tri-State Sikhs group sends volunteers to Puerto Rico for hurricane relief

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Posted at 5:15 PM, Oct 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 19:28:21-04

WEST CHESTER, Ohio -- United Sikhs is an organization many in the Tri-State may not have heard of, but they're recognized by the U.N. 

This weekend, they're holding a fundraiser for humanitarian relief after some of their members have returned from hurricane recovery efforts Puerto Rico. 

This week, about 60,000 people in Puerto Rico have clean drinking water again thanks to an engineer from United Sikhs who diagnosed and spearheaded repairs in Utuado. 

"I don't want to say 'single-handedly,' because he had a team helping him and a support staff, but he managed to fix and restore that main engine that's going to serve 15,000 families with fresh water," Jaipal Singh said.

Singh is a member of the group who just got back to Cincinnati Thursday night. He said the damage in Puerto Rico was "as if the Incredible Hulk was walking across the island and started picking up massive trees and telephone poles and started throwing them every which way."

Friday afternoon, women were preparing food for the fundraiser. It's an outgrowth of the philosophy of langar, getting to know someone through sharing a meal.

Sikhs believe in the oneness of mankind, which is what drives United Sikhs to volunteer, according to Maneshwar Singh.

"Everything is based off of recognizing that oneness, and from that you get a compassion and a lovingness for everything that is the creation," Singh said.

United Sikhs will be in Puerto Rico as long as they're needed. Now they're also planning to send aid workers to California to help people displaced by wildfires. 

Anyone interested in donated can visit the United Sikhs' online fundraiser.