If money were not an issue and I had unlimited financial resources, I would commit to helping the poor and powerless each day. This was the thought that was at the forefront of my mind when I started my day volunteering at St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen. While my heart was heavy, I was full of joy to be able to serve the homeless who do not easily have access to hot, nutritious food.
The day before I served in the soup kitchen I visited Starbucks. While drinking my coffee, and enjoying my pastry in the cool air conditioning, I saw a woman in a walker pass by. She had a sign on her walker saying she was handicapped, and needed help getting to another state. She sat on the corner for over two hours in the 90 degree heat. Not once did someone stop to talk to her, or offer help. My heart grew very sad as I sat there watching her. In two hours, I watched thousands of cars pass by her, not one car halted. Maybe I am the exception, but I cannot stand to pass any one in need without offering help, or a kind word of encouragement, when it is needed.
While speaking with some of the different staff and volunteers at the soup kitchen, they kept saying the same thing, that they always want to treat the people they serve with respect. I agree with those working at the soup kitchen. I wanted the visitors of the kitchen to know they are respected by me, and that I was not volunteering to make myself feel better. I was volunteering to make sure that they have warm food and full stomachs. As I was volunteering, I never found a moment to take pictures. I did not want the people I was serving to think I was at the soup kitchen just for show, or to do my “good work” for the month. I have always felt a strong passion to help those who cannot otherwise help themselves. Being able to serve at the soup kitchen allowed this to become my reality. As I was handing out breakfast, I was smiling and telling my new friends in line good morning. I was slightly shocked to see so many of them smiling and greeting me in return. If I was in their shoes, I am not so sure I would be smiling. From the outside looking in, they do not seem to have many reasons to smile. But reality is, they are in line to receive nutritious food, they are thankful for the food they receive, and thankful to simply be living.
My time volunteering at St. Mary’s did not start when I entered into the facility, but the day before. Taking a few hours out of my morning to make a difference in the life of someone else is not something I will regret; I hope more people would feel the same.
Below I have included a passage from the Bible that were very present in my heart through this journey.
“For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink?…And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” Matthew 25:35-37, 40.
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