This past fall I’ve been helping at St George’s soup kitchen, a volunteer run operation providing a warm meal to those less fortunate. Meeting Saturdays at 3pm, for 3 hours volunteers setup tables and chairs, prepare and serve food and finally cleanup. The food is cooked by a different local church group each week, although some Saturdays the head coordinator Karen ends up cooking the food herself. The hospital also provides leftover puddings and some local bakeries donate extra donuts and bread. Each church group usually brings 6 people to help serve, but there was also 10 regular volunteers that come every week. It’s amazing working along such great people, each coming from different background, all sharing common goal to help others.
Today was the 22 year anniversary of the soup kitchen. The coordinator Karen (in blue shirt), has been there since the start, and here is the amazing part, in those 22 years, she has only missed 5 Saturdays! That’s truly remarkable in her 22 years, she’s volunteered over 1100 Saturdays and probably has served over 200,000 meals. Karen doesn’t expect a reward for all her dedication and hard work, her inner motivation comes knowing that she’s had a positive impact on the lives of others.
One of the remarkable things I’ve noticed, that although many of the people coming for food have nothing more than the clothes on their backs, they are always very grateful, with please, thank you and warm smiles. I think they offer a lesson that all of us can learn from.