Guests – In Their Own Words – “There were so many words…”
There were so many words of thanks from our 136 guests last night, our final Tuesday for the season. Gratitude is enough from these individuals who, day to day, seek that which we may at times take for granted: food, shelter, health, warmth, belonging and recognition.
As volunteers, you have translated your appreciation for your abundant good fortune into actions that benefit others. As I watch how you cook and clean and serve our guests with kind words and smiles, it fills me with such pride and honour for the fact that I am a part of this miraculous endeavor.
Our guests feasted on delicious turkey-vegetable-bean soup, 121 lbs of turkey carved by David, gravy and cranberry sauce, stuffing, roasted potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, Caesar salad, bananas and ice cream sandwiches! One guest turned to another and said, “Look, I’m dining like a king.” Another said, “This is just like Christmas….without the presents.” And another said to me, “This was such a good meal, I’m missing you already!” Yes, chef Susan, Shirley, Joanne P., Arlene, Marlene, Linda, you really outdid yourselves. Seriously, there were only carcasses left over which the Good Shepherd gratefully accepted yesterday. What a send off!
Due to your involvement over 21 weeks, our group fed 2,611 guests and sheltered 435. That is an increase of exactly 30% more dinner guests over last year. With the economy as it is, how many more will we see next year?
Our security guard, Mike Pope, deserves so much credit as well. He consistently and genuinely cares for the safety and well-being of our guests and volunteers with such a welcoming and friendly manner, knowing everyone by name, even if they have been absent for a while. Yasher Koach, job well done, Mike.
To our Volunteer Coordinators, Joanne and Lila, we are especially grateful for the hours you spend to assemble such a productive, happy, and rich-with-purpose group! Let’s remind ourselves that when we work with others we can come to appreciate our own wholeness. When we engage with others, we are given an opportunity to appreciate our own strengths and gifts, because we can see how others’ strengths, experiences, and contributions complement our own.