Might be unusual to write a back blast for a 3rd F event, but spoke about it with other PAX and we felt it might be a good idea considering the Impact it had on us. (or if Im in trouble for this, @Methane told me it was OK
PAX Jitterbug (YHC), Aerobie (the Catalyst; I think that is correct term, @Aerobie correct me if I’m wrong cause I sat next to you in Biology at St X), Metermaid, Wapner, Methane, Tony Malito. Valdez a late scratch as he had leader of household family duties take precedent at last minute….understood
Assist with the serving of Breakfast at Wayside Christian Mission. If you have followed 3nd F you know we have been trying to get this organized and all had been looking forward to it; and not sure many of us expected it to have the impact on us it did.
We arrived a bit before 6 AM and checked in as volunteers. Chaplain Mike who oversees the program had mentioned to us how rare it was to have male volunteers; and I sort of picked up on that as we introduced ourselves to the staff there. Last thing they expected that morning was to see the 6 of us walk in. I think it took a little while for them to warm up but eventually they began to find spots for us to fill in and try and move the ball forward as opposed to interrupting their routine. We served food on the line; filled trays with Pastries brought in overnight from Panera and Fresh Market; and Methane and I realized neither of us had a real clear strategy for how to cut up Cantaloupe and Watermelon, but we managed. We quickly realized where to take, things and find things, and buy the end of the 90 minutes or so everyone was all smiles and we were part of the team !
What was special and impactful was our interaction not just with those who worked and also volunteer at the Mission on a regular basis, (an amazing group of individuals); but primarily those who came for a meal. We met and interacted with all types of individuals in need; and until you are face to face with those in the most difficult circumstance , its difficult to appreciate. Many were of course elderly and in clearly poor physical condition and needed assistance to their chairs and with drinks etc. Others you could guess lived on the streets and took advantage of the opportunity to come inside for a meal. None of us there will soon forget a young woman; potentially mid 30″s or younger who came in with a girl in her late teens, 2 other children about 3-4 years old and also a toddler in a car seat. It occurred to me the baby could possibly be the child of the teenager. I tried to imagine the challenges that young woman and those children face on a daily basis and really haven’t stopped thinking about them for two days. It was a similar warming up period we had with the diners but towards the end we were having some great conversations and interactions. And as we were wrapping up I started to think about how we had planned this day to all be there and looked forward to it and how memorable it will be for the group; and then I realized for the people who we encountered that morning it was Tuesday. It was another day for them like any other day where they figured out a way to get manage through it the best they could. And it was humbling as I realized how truly blessed I am
I could go on but suffice to say this was a classic example of getting far more out of something than you put in. We are all better for it and motivated to return as soon as we can and look for other ways to serve this community. Watch 3nd F for updates.