This is why I give of my time to help people who are in the same situation I used to be in.
Susan, a volunteer at our Mobile Food Pantry shared a story about a young mom with two boys she helped at a recent distribution. The boys looked to be no older than five, and they were joyfully playing tag while their mom stood quietly with her head downcast. As the family moved closer, Susan could see the woman was visibly upset. Susan reflected, “It was obvious she was going to need help with the energetic boys, so I offered to help.” She walked with the woman through the line. The young mom took every item with gratitude, but said little more than ‘thank you’ to each person along the way. Gathering her children, they all headed towards the car. Once the last bag was loaded, the woman gave Susan a hug and began opening up about her hesitation coming to get help. She explained that her husband recently lost his job, and it soon became difficult to make ends meet with her part-time job. But, she said they had never asked for help before and assumed the food bank was just for the homeless. “This really impacted me greatly because at one point in my life our family struggled much in this same way as this young mom. This is why I give of my time to help people who are in the same situation I used to be in. They are just like me.”
This is what it’s all about. Helping people who don’t have enough to eat.
Edward is a field analyst for a local oil company who signed up for a group volunteer day. “I was reluctant from the start,” explain Edward. “The food bank always seemed like the kind of place that people just took advantage of.” He admitted that there was more adding to his skepticism. Sadly, in the year prior he lost both of his parents which led him to develop a critical eye on life. He honestly admitted, “I didn’t want to be here.” However, as he began working in the Extra Room and seeing the people receiving help face-to-face, his whole attitude changed. He declared, “This is what it’s all about. Helping people who don’t have enough to eat. You can’t come here and not expect to have the experience change you.”