helping those in need

about 3 years ago i got involved with preparing food for a local organization that provides meals for ex patients of our local state hospital. the year i joined they needed someone to take over the planning of the meal. i stepped up and was instantly hooked. my sil helped me that nite and together we have been doing this 2x a year....once in november and another one during the late summer.

from the beginning our children have been involved. they don't get a chance to do much of the actual food prep (it gets pretty crazy in the kitchen!) but they really enjoy serving the meals. the older ones handle the food - the younger ones hand out the plates and napkins. they both walk around together passing out hot cocoa and dessert.

i will admit - i was nervous at first to see if they would be scared of the guests. they are all poor and unkempt. their clothes are worn and dirty. some are loud...some overly friendly. but our children never seemed to mind.

this year my son asked if he could announce to his class that we were hosting dinner tonite - and see if anyone wanted to help. one of his friends came out and helped us.

i was so proud of my son tonite...not only of his compassion and eagerness to serve those less fortunate...but also of HIS pride in what we do - and how he wanted to share it with his peers and include them in the event.

last week my husband lost his job - again. tonite was the first time he could join us from start to finish. usually he swings by after work - just in time to finish serving. tonite he helped us cook, serve, clean up. it sucks being laid off right before the holidays. it happened to us last year too. but serving our guests tonite really puts things into perspective. we leave every time feeling happy. its such a wonderful time for all involved.

in fact - i'm not sure who appreciates these events more - the guests........or us.

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