The LOVESEVA Collective is a non-profit collaboration between international spiritual teachers, pastors, and healers that seeks to help people deepen their connection to the God of their understanding while promoting personal freedom, equality, wellbeing, service, and love. Currently we have two main fronts: INDIA and Southern California.
In Southern California where the American founders Adriana Rizzolo and David Wagner live, LOVESEVA is focused on connecting with and serving homeless people in Los Angeles. LA county is said to have about 60,000 people without permanent homes. Many thousand live in tent encampments in the Downtown area known as “Skid Row”. On Skid Row, LOVESEVA volunteers show up every Sunday with big pots of David’s award-winning, homemade chili, lemonade, and home baked cornbread. On most Sundays, we also distribute “Sloppy Joe” Sandwiches to other encampments outside of the main “Skid Row” area.
Every week we make as much chili as we can and every week we run out fast! The folks down on Skid Row are accustomed to food distribution, but not the way we do it. We serve the food in reusable bowls with metal spoons - a small detail but it makes a difference. Every week MOST of the bowls come back. (We assume the ones that don’t are put to good use!) They also aren’t used to “home cooked” food. David’s chili with a handful of cheese and chunk of honey cornbread comes with a feeling of “home”. And our volunteers hang out with, chat with, sometimes eat with, and always give lots of love to folks that come.
Your generous donations make our Chili Ministry possible. One meal with Chili, Cornbread, and Lemonade costs around 100-150 USD. Our greatest cost is high quality beef for the chili and sloppy joes. We don’t want to use cheap meat from factory farms, but the locally sourced pasture raised beef we use is very costly. Our local butcher shop, Watkins Cattle Co. has been a generous sponsor donating some meat every week, but with our quantities always increasing, we need more and more meat to make it work. Thanks so much for giving so generously!
Based in Pune, India, LOVESEVA INDIA is the brainchild of David Harshada Wagner, Adriana Rizzolo, Amol Choudhari, and Varsha Choudhari. Adriana and David both are well known and respected teachers of yoga and practical spirituality have longstanding friendships with Amol and Varsha and both have deep roots in India. The aim is to provide a bridge between David and Adriana’s communities of western students with the people they’re serving in India.
YOUR DONATION for Indian Programs in Euros and dollars and pounds goes a long way in Indian rupees.
Initially, our goal is to connect with groups of people who are currently unseen and underserved and offer them low or no-cost courses in self empowerment, free one-on-one counseling and mentoring sessions, and provide uplifting events of prayer and meditation, training and gathering. We work with young, unmarried men and women, LGBTQ people, sex workers, the children of sex workers, the mentally ill, addicts in recovery, and others who are outcaste, alone, and misunderstood by society.
Donations will be used to pay for various aspects of the project: We will host dynamic events for large groups in Pune and surrounding areas. Donations will pay for the rental of meeting spaces, and feeding of participants. This includes the cost of the food, the catering, as well as the transportation of the caterers. We want there to be food at everything we do! We’re in discussion with a group of former sex workers who now have a small catering company. Funds will also go to pay for counseling and mentoring services, Ayurvedic treatments for people who would not be able to afford these services on their own. We will also sponsor special guest teachers and pastors who can come to offer specialized trainings.
LOVESEVA’s core motto is
Love God, Serve Each Other. Serve God, Love Each Other.
Loving God means knowing God, learning how to connect with God, listen to God and have a personal relationship with God. Serving Each Other is about making our spirituality practical and putting it into action seeing, loving, and taking care of our fellow human beings. Serving God means doing the work to bring “God’s Kingdom” into reality and learning how, as lovers of God, to live in a way that reflects wisdom, forgiveness, love and victory. Loving Each Other means learning to see beyond our prejudices and judgments to truly serve. We strive to see beyond differences between people of different religions, ethnicities, castes, sexual orientations or social status. The leaders and teachers in our collective are Christian, Hindu, Yogi and Muslim. The people we serve come from many different communities and backgrounds.
The name of our collective, like the collective itself is a joint between two words, one English and one Sanskrit. Love is not used flippantly here. We understand Love to be there very nature of God. Love is an essential element in every human life and the greatest indication of a healthy spirituality. The Sanskrit word Seva means service and has a connotation of selfless service or sacred service or sacrificial service. It is used in many Indian languages including Marathi.
As this project grows, we will form a charitable trust in India as well as a not-for-profit organization based in the US. For now, we’re just planting the seeds! AND WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Currently the exchange rate between dollars and rupees is 1/69.
A feast for 300 people can cost around 20,000 rupees which is less than 300 US dollars! So your donations - even small ones - go a LONG way. Other things like vehicle rentals and plane tickets cost more, but in general this is a very lean operation. Every rupee we collect will be going directly into the project.