“The worst poverty one can face in this world is a poverty of love.“ – Amma
Inspired by Amma’s hugs that transform and spread love to millions of people around the world, on Thursday, October 27th, 2016, members of AYUDH Connecticut teamed up with the undergraduates of Pierson College at Yale University to hold a “Hugs & Mugs” study break. 108 reusable Design-It-Yourself mugs were purchased for the students to decorate for themselves, a friend, and/or someone in need. The Pierson College Graduate Affiliates Program generously sponsored the supplies in addition to snacks and hot cocoa to warm the students’ hearts while they warmed their souls with the spirit of giving.
AYUDH members and the Yale University students decorated a total of 71 mugs with inspirational quotes and filled them with supplies and information on local resources including meals and warming centers for the guests of a local New Haven soup kitchen.Construction paper, paint, stickers, and especially the love and goodwill of the participants transformed the dormitory gathering space into a vibrant, colorful hub of creativity, laughter, and joy. “It was really casual and fun,” AYUDH Connecticut member Irina said, “I really enjoyed it!”
On Wednesday, November 2nd, AYUDH members distributed all 71 mugs, eachone hand-made and unique, to the guests of the local Saint Thomas More Soup Kitchen as they gathered in line for lunch. “This is just what I need for my coffee!” one man exclaimed as an AYUDH member handed him a mug with a big smile. Another excitedly opened the mug, heavier than expected from the goodies inside, to find cough drops, tea, vitamin C drink mix packets, and soup kitchen and shelter schedules.
During the meal, AYUDH members chatted with the guests, reading the different mug quotes and conversing on topics ranging from the New Haven weather to vaccines and stem cells. “I heard about the guests’ grandmothers, sons, and grandsons,” AYUDH Connecticut member Durga said, “It was incredible to learn how much we all have in common and also to learn about their incredible strength and resilience.”
Perhaps, as each of the 71 recipients glance at their mugs, they might feel, just like a hug, a little bit of Amma’s love embracing them during their day.