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! I read a book excerpt not long ago. It was “They came to our outreaches for the food and clothing, but returned to the streets still hungry, needy and hurting – week after week – month after month… To really make a difference, the intervention had to be holistic, going deeper than the needs of the body to lift the spirit while at the same time imparting practical guidance.” This has stuck with me since I read it.
I was showing a new volunteer around this morning and I would throw out something that I felt was priceless info. Who each shopper was – who was going through a rough time – who had just come out on the other side – who plays guitar like Jimi Hendrix – who brings us Tootsie Roll Pops every Saturday – who coaches a football team – who just got a job – Very valuable stuff. Pretty soon I realized that the things I had been telling her had nothing to do with the job she had volunteered for. Technically, she had signed up to remove items from a shelf and place them in a bag. Ah, but there was so much more. There was so much more to these people that she would meet than if they wanted Chicken Noodle or Tomato. It didn’t take her long to realize why – she fell right in and connected with some really amazing people. By the end of the day, she was all smiles – she knew she had done something deeper.
Even as great as today was, we have learned that it will take more than a bag of food and a few hours on a Saturday to make a real difference in these lives. It’s going to take changing attitudes about these people who most feel are so unlike them. It will take helping others to not be afraid to look these people in the eye and to show them that it’s okay to want to get to know them. We will all need to see them as real and important, with much to offer. We will need to connect with them in a way that erases that gnawing hunger for human interaction and affection and speaks straight to the soul. Technically, we are here to feed the body, but we know what “the valuable stuff” really is.
Can Openers, Tents, Sleeping Bags, Socks and Reading Glasses. Monetary gifts and Food donations are always appreciated.
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