Sunday, January 23, 2011

Serving with friends.

Food Bank1

Several weeks ago I received a new calling at church...I was asked to serve in the Relief Society Presidency as the 2nd Counselor. For those who may not be familiar with this special women's organization in my church, you can learn more about it here.

Recently, we planned a service project for all the Sisters to volunteer at the Rio Grande Valley Food Bank in Mcallen. Prior to this, I had never been to a food bank. It was interesting to learn more about the mission of a food bank and all the hard work that goes into providing healthy meals to families in need.

Our group arrived to volunteer at 10AM and worked until 2PM. We were required to watch a 15 minute video on how to sort and box the canned food items properly to ensure all dates of canned and packaged goods were not expired or damaged. One of the factual tidbits that I found interesting is that for every hour one volunteers at the food bank, you can feed up to 105 people 1 complete and balanced meal.

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food bank

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I quickly ended up having to shed my coat as I was one of the ones assigned to load the boxes and carry them to the tables to be sorted. My back muscles got quite a work-out!


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Food Bank-1


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I enjoyed getting to know these ladies from church a little bit better as we served together. They are all so sweet and each have their own unique life story to share.

I was especially touched by a family that I met while I was there. I noticed a father with his 5 children (ages 4-14) working hard sorting and packing canned goods. I watched and listened to him interact with his kids. He was directing them throughout the process and made sure even the youngest was busy working doing something. It was impressive to watch the kids take pride in their work. They were so well mannered and such hard workers. I finally asked this Dad if they came to the Food Bank often. He said it was just he and the kids...it was obvious that the mom was no longer in the picture (for reasons unknown to me). He explained how he and his kids come to the Food Bank every other Saturday to volunteer. I told this Dad how impressed I was with he and his family. And then I walked away from my conversation with this gentleman thinking to myself...when my son gets older, I'd like to take him with me and the Hubby to volunteer at the Food Bank. What a great family activity... to give a few hours of our time to help others who are hungry and in need.


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Each of us left our service project completely worn out, dirty and sweaty--but all the more humbled and uplifted by the experience knowing that there were many families here locally who would be blessed by our service.

Making time to serve others in genuine and meaningful way no doubt has a way of lifting my spirits. Whatever problems or struggles I may be dealing with personally, when I forget myself and get to work, I am reminded of what is most important in this life...living a Christ-like life and serving others the best I can. This experience was also a tender reminder of how very blessed I am.

If you'd like to volunteer at a food bank in your area, click here to find the nearest one to you.

Here is a little spiritual inspiration on the blessings that come by doing good for others...



Jennifer

3 comments:

  1. Congrats on your new calling! This looks like it was a wonderful project, and so helpful for your area. I am also touched by that dad and his kids--what an example!

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