Saturday, December 08, 2007
lunch with our neighbors (holiday party #6)
Second Helpings prepares 2900 meals every day that we send to 50 other social service agencies. We don't charge the agencies for the service, so they can use their money for their program. We deliver the food hot and ready to eat, and the agencies serve it to their clients. I always say that we serve the people that are serving the people. Today we got to directly serve our neighbors.
Horizon House is one of my favorite other agencies and is right across the street from us. They are a day shelter for homeless people. They offer medical, dental and mental health care, clothing, showers, laundry facilities, literacy classes and employment counseling, computers, telephones and a place to store your stuff.
When I managed the coffeehouse in our city market, I would let people stash their belongings and use our telephone. Can you imagine how hard it would be to find a job when you're carrying a trash bag and have no contact information? And can you imagine leaving all of your worldly possessions in the hands of a stranger?
Today we served our neighbors lunch. One of our graduates did a great job coordinating the meal for 400 people. Our staff served the food and our volunteers joined the staff and clients of Horizon House for dinner. It is heart wrenching to hear the stories of the neighbors. I ate lunch with a man who had a degree from Purdue, lot his job, was in a horrible car accident, had no insurance or family support and lost everything. He was trying to scrape up money for a bus ticket to Lafayette where he still had friends (I have it from a credible source that he has the money to get there now). I also sat next to a very charming guy that told me Jesus told him to leave the Dominican Republic and come to Indiana, things were a little fuzzy from there.
It was an honor to share lunch with them everyone.