Happy New Year.
Volunteering for the “Out of The Cold Program” has always renewed my positiveness towards mankind, but especially this year. This year I had the privilege of participating in all aspects of the dinner, from preparing the salad, making the drinks, setting the tables, and serving the dinner. The program had close to one hundred and fifty people for dinner. What a task!!! All of the volunteers (except the one who did not let me in) were extraordinary, doing ordinary tasks (cooking and cleaning) with amazingly positive attitudes. I arrived early to volunteer and was mistaken for being one of the homeless, it was a disturbing situation to be in. I felt so very scared. The people around me offered me a blanket, their cigarettes and gloves. Their kindness touched my heart. During the dinner many recognized me and wanted to sit at my table. No, I did not sleep that night.
Most of the participants live on the streets, but few that I have ever met fit any stereotype. Some drank, some had health issues, but all had unique personalities. Most need community. One young woman named Ann (sat at my table when she saw my name tag) asked to see my scarf, when I gave it to her she not only put it on but danced at the delight at having something new. Despite her alcoholism, epilepsy, loneliness and disappointments, she had that twinkle in her eye and her playful personality intact (at times). She made me smile. She reminded me that a smile can be contagious and that simple act of kindness can result in human beings coming together.
So, as I entered the elevator to go home, I smiled and smiled and smiled….. and everyone asked “What’s wrong with her???” So much for that!!!!!!
Volunteering is the best medicine. Stop talking and just do it!!!!