Soup Kitchen Experience ~ 1/5/16

So for the first time every this Christmas instead of saying “volunteering at a soup kitchen is on my bucket list”, I crossed it off my bucket list.  In some ways it was AMAZING and in other ways it was actually disappointing.  It was amazing because well – I was with four of the people I love most in this world…my son, my best friend, my sister and a young lady who “technically” is not blood related to me BUT however is my daughter! ❤

You cannot have a “bad day” when you are blessed like that, I literally was with the people I love most and in recent years I have NOT been able to be with them several times.  Honestly it’s the first time in about five years that my actual Christmas Day was blessed with this – so yeah that’s a HUGE factor on the positive side.  Additionally, I was not sick, I had a house, I had heat, I in fact had food and a home and things far beyond my basic needs.  One of the things my son said that day really has stuck with me in the overall understanding about what “the struggle is real” REALLY MEANS…he said…

“Yeah if you are complaining how hard the struggle is on your six social media accounts on your smart phone ~ the struggle isn’t THAT bad.”

Wow – isn’t that the absolute truth!  In addition to my blessings and that enlightenment from my son, I DID get to see many people who might not have otherwise had a meal that day – let alone anyone to share it with – eat a meal, visit and enjoy some music.  I did get to be a SMALL part of making that happen – (very small), and it was a nice feeling.

So what’s the down side?  Well – a few things…#1.  I felt like there was not enough people there…I was sad to see that more people could not come engage with the event – because I know there is a lot of needy people there.  Some conversation I heard was how the buses didn’t run because it’s a holiday and so there is many people who might have come on a normal day, but who couldn’t get there due to transportation.  Hrumph, well that kind of stinks – and the “organizer” in me was like, well why didn’t we call the bus company and do like 2 special buses for this – I’m SURE we could have gotten two drivers to volunteer for one round trip to get these people there.  So that made me sad – mental note to self – start in September next year and see if they need help organizing lol.

#2 disappointment was the event itself – honestly it was so poorly organized (I felt) and we spent a lot of our six hours standing around watching the “handful” of people in charge run around crazy.  If you know me at all you know that being efficient and being organized are BENCHMARKS of my personality and so this was especially painful for me to watch.  It made me sad that so much time that was “volunteered” (not just OURS but everyones) was underutilized and wasted.  Note to self – start in September next year and see if they need help organizing…lmaooo – yeah not – I’m serious :-/

#3 Now my first 2 disappointments are things that realistically COULD/CAN be improved/changed impacted.  The 3rd one I’m not so sure…I was sad that so many of the people there seemed so closed upon themselves.  I know inherently that there is gong to be some degree of mental illness and/or other mitigating factors associated with at least a portion of the “needy/homeless” population…but still it saddened me to see how closed off people were.  Not looking up, not talking, not “engaging” and honestly that broke my heart.  Me personally I wanted every one of them to LOOK UP to chat, to engage and even if for just that hour or two realize that they were being viewed (at least by me) as a HUMAN BEING – not a homeless being or a needy being.  I wanted them to understand that the entire world is not comprised of people who look “down” but there are people who actually CARE out there…and I’m one of them.  Yeah I think that little bit of disappointment is just something I’ll have to deal with.

At the end of the day my “goal” was to feel like I was part of a solution and to offer some help to someone in SOME way, any way and I feel like I did do that.  If it in fact didn’t meet all my “expectations” I don’t think that makes it a failure – it might have made it a little bit of a disappointment but in the end I did feel for a fleeting moment that I was part of something “more” and that was gratifying.  I also spent the day with the people I love and for THAT there is no price tag ~ so I consider my day a success and I will do it again (and next time I’ll go in with more knowledge and understanding – but no less hope).

Ironic moment of my day – the MOST time I spent chatting with someone I didn’t know was the time I spent talking to a man who apparently has volunteered there for several years now.  Apparently a wealthy man who was discussing with me the intricacies of how his 19 employees depend on him to feed their families and how much the brownstone he just purchased in Manhattan set him back…HA.  Not for nothing but he was an ABSOLUTE sweetheart of a human being an a pleasure to chat with…but how ironic that as much as I wanted to “reach out” to someone down on their luck – I end up with the rich dud for a half an hour lol #mylife #thestruggleISreal.

Thanks for stopping by kids…see you again soon!

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