Below is a collection of stories from a day in the life of The Little Pantry. These stories share the everyday workings of the pantry, and aim to share the common connection we see every day with our friends and visitors. They are stories of hope, sadness, dignity, trust, and most importantly, love. Enjoy!
Today was the Best Day Ever at TLPTC! Ok, today is Sunday – I didn’t write last night. I was out until the wee hours (at least it felt like it) with one of Santa’s Helpers.
This lady, I think she may have originally come to us to shop – I’m not even sure, she’s been a volunteer for so long now. Well, not true – she’s only been volunteering for a short while – it just seems like forever. That’s what happens when a Place finds a Soul Mate – you lose track of time and just become one. We have the most amazing volunteers, but this lady is beyond special. You know when she first walks through the door. Somebody will hoot “Get the party started!” and shoppers will start mobbing her to get a hug. She will dance on through the crowd “Hello baby, how was your week?” ~ “Hi Dear, were you warm last night – I was thinking about you” ~ “Why Is This Coffee Pot Empty? UmUmUm….” ~ “Now look here Little One, I love you, but you can’t be running in this place”. She is equal parts of I Love You So Much and I Will Take You Down.
At the pantry, she is all business. She is taking care of people and fixing problems and keeping us all in line with machine precision. When we sit and talk after it’s all over, she will take her first deep breath of the day and say “I wish I could do more”. Tears will fall for those who sleep outside and for those who are hurting. She will plot and plan and pray and try to understand why there is so much hardness in the world.
Well, yesterday, there was no time for all this breathing and thinking after we closed. She came up and announced that she and I were going shopping. She had been “blessed” and she was going to buy Christmas for some of our special shoppers. I argued, which was pointless, no way I was gonna win. This is a lady who gives of her time, because that’s all she has to give. She barely makes it financially, and here she is saying she wants to take something that she has all rights to hoard and spend it on others. So, off we went. She bought Batteries and Chapstick, Hot Hands and Gloves, Pocket Radios and Flashlights. She was smiling and celebrating the whole time. It was lovely.
Christmas is stressful – expectations are high and depression is rampant. Some of us impose crazy materialistic standards on ourselves while others drown themselves in the pool of all that they have lost. Today, I am thanking my friend for reminding me that this is a season to Love and to Be Loved and that the Gift is in the Giving.
Can Openers, Tents, Sleeping Bags, Socks and Reading Glasses. Monetary gifts and Food donations are always appreciated.
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