Friday, December 3, 2010

8th Graders Serve at the Soup Kitchen

The idea of going to a soup kitchen used to scare me, it seemed so foreign and honestly kind of frightening. But now I find that those past thoughts were completely wrong and that I should have been more open to the thought of charity. Luckily, Holy Name had provided the opportunity to go and let students help out at the soup kitchen and I decided to take it. But I didn’t think of taking it so quickly, and I’m not going to lie, the thought of acting sick crossed my mind many times, but I knew that would be completely wrong and I would be burdened with guilt for the rest of the school year. So I went.

As we were on our way to the soup kitchen that morning I grew even more anxious than I was that morning when I was getting ready for school, but as we were nearing closer and closer to the soup kitchen I calmed down a bit. Once we finally arrived we got out of the car and walked towards the building. I noticed that a man was bundled up in large amounts of old, dirty clothing sleeping on the floor. An old women that went by the name of Dr. Pike, opened the door to us and we walked down stairs into a room near the kitchen. There we had to put on hats and aprons. We then went into the kitchen and were introduced to people and the stations we were going to work at. Another classmate and I worked at a station where we served Kool-Aid to the homeless. Once everything was prepared and ready to go, people started pouring into the building…So much that I couldn’t even see over or even in between them. My partner and I started to pour Kool-Aid into small plastic cups and the thought of me spilling Kool-Aid everywhere crossed my mind as we did so. See, I am a very clumsy person and tend to run into, spill, and break a lot of things.

A lot of the people there were mostly men; I only saw about five women, and some of them looked like they didn’t even live on the streets. As I poured Kool-Aid for people few of them said thank you, but I knew by the look on their faces that they were either grateful or ashamed. But some of them weren’t even ashamed at all, actually some of them came in singing and smiling, which surprised me a bit. Eventually, the line started to go down and I could see in front of me again. People started to fill the tiny tables and started eating. Some of them sat together laughing and talking, and some just sat alone. Then a young white women got up from her table and shuffled over to where we were pouring juice, she grabbed two cups and looked me in the eyes and said “Sorry.” and then walked away. That’s when I realized that all these people who may have no job or home or food of their own are just like us. They’re no different from people we call “normal”. We’re the same. The only difference is that they are struggling harder than anyone one of “us”. This thought had stayed with me for the rest of my time at the soup kitchen.

The idea of going to the soup kitchen used to scare me, but now I find that the idea of volunteering at a soup kitchen is enjoyable and worth my time. And now instead of rejecting volunteering, I’ll be more open to the thought of helping those in need. Thankfully, I didn’t fake sick that day, because if I did I probably would have never tried volunteering afterward.
(Taylor O.)

When I served at the soup kitchen I think I really got to see how life is for some people. It isn't all good like some people make it out to be. Life for some people is hard and restless always wondering when they will get their next meal. When I served at the soup kitchen I did two things. I served Kool-aid and washed dishes. I don't remember the name of the guy I was washing dishes with, but he was a very nice guy. We talked about the soup kitchen. I learned that he is from Michigan and now lives in Indiana.

The people I served Kool-aid to were really nice. They had better manners than you would expect people who are hungry. There was another guy there who volunteered his time at the kitchen. He knew almost everyone there. He joked around with them and they joked back. The people I served were also very kind. They didn't seem grumpy or grouchy, just very thankful to have a nice meal in front of them. This really made me more grateful for what I have and made me feel like I was helping people. I never felt so good about myself.

My trip to the soup kitchen really made me feel like a better person. This is all because the people volunteering and the people going there for food. The volunteers were just glad to see people helping out and the people there for food where just so kind and I just can't get over that. I would definitely go back and I advise others to go at least one time.

(Zach L.)

When I first walked in to the soup kitchen I was met with the sight of a man sleeping on the floor with about 2-3 garbage bags as a pillow, right then it hit me how homelessness affects our society. After that I was asked to put on an apron and hat. (Wow that was embarrassing, good thing Mrs. Buckley didn’t have her camera on her.) After that we were asked to wash our hands, as I walked around I saw a tiny sink in a tiny kitchen at first I thought that was for dishes but as I found out, it was for our hands! After that we were asked to put on this poly-something type of glove, when we were sent to our stations I was assigned the fruit and salad section. Usually they have a leafy salad, but they were out and they had a bunch of tomatoes so they improvised and made a brochette type salad with cheese, Italian dressing, greens, and of course tomatoes. They also had mixed fruits, and a big box like thing filled with green grapes. As I looked around in the midst of serving I noticed a lot of African-American people in the room. It made me wonder, are ceo’s firing these people because of racism? Or is because of a stereo type?

In the middle of serving I saw a man taking a lot of grapes so as I started refilling the bowls. He said “Can you give me two more bowls please?” As I was filling a plastic bag with them he said “It’s for my kids.” I froze. This man has kids living on the street?!? It made me wonder how he and his family are getting by. I gave him a whole lot of grapes. I said tell them I said hi and enjoy.” He simply replied, “May the Lord bless you.” And he walked out the door. I felt really good inside like I did something really good. Later that day, I saw a woman standing next to the fruit, trying to get some grapes. I said “Let me help you with that.” As I looked at her I noticed she had a U.S. Army jacket on. That startled me because people who risk their lives daily to protect our country shouldn’t be on the streets fighting starvation! After I was finished she said, “Thank you my God,” and that gave me the best feeling imaginable.
(Mitchell S.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sister Nicolette,
Thank you for posting our students' reflections. I am so please to read how the opportunity has touched their hearts. Also, their writing skills have improved so much!!