While our family refers to community service as just a night of fun out of the house, most of you might not know that there are opportunities to serve, as a family, with children, in your area. If you live in N. GA, there is a fantastic organization called Forever Fed that we found this past summer. They have block party style events, and it is so much fun to be a part of. The work itself is not hard. (I have yet to do the prep. portion of the night, but show up to serve food, wipe tables, clean serving pans, pour drinks, cut desserts, watch kids in a bounce house, play with chalk, etc.) Oh wait. I already do this stuff at home-- no wonder it's second nature to me! See, I told you it's not hard.
I literally decided to search charitable organizations in our area, and Forever Fed came up. And when I clicked on the link, the home page had a collage of pictures, and in those pictures, were people I knew. That was my sign, and we signed up for an event that was minutes from our home that coming weekend. We went to serve, and left, feeling served. We were hooked. We found that the needs were great in our area, and that summer time was a busy season for feeding children that were not provided regular meals, so we assisted with the event that served the bible camp that another organization runs. My children's G-d parents asked about it, and decided to bring their family to the last event, and they too seemed to have been fed from the event. While we don't get to see their family as often as we would like, this commitment would provide a way to share our faith, together. Be the hands and feet of Christ....
The children did everything to help by putting forks on dessert plates, to clean tables, and then made sure to go play with the other children. Bubbles, bounce house, hula hoops, side walk chalk.... They had a ball! The teenagers that come to help, are enthusiastic. It brings hope to me that one day, my children will grow into young adults and have a humble heart prepared to serve, because of the opportunity that Forever Fed afforded our family.
Geoff was on the serving line, and my girlfriend and I helped a couple of teenage boys serve desserts. (That was tough. They were boys=they were hungry.) I had to laugh. As I pulled out some of the assorted bakery items, there was a small pecan pie. One of the boys was eyeing it. They had done a great job, and we cut the pie in fourths, and sent him to sit amongst our friends at the tables, pie in hand. He was so excited. It really is the little things.
Geoff had asked if we wanted to purchase/donate to receive a Forever Fed Shirt. I said no, and my idea was, I would love to donate financially to this organization, as I believe they manage finances amazingly well. However, I want to feel like I am a part of the whole experience, not just the Forever Fed side. While this next bit is making me nervous to share. I will share it, because it just magnifies this issue.
The majority of participants in this specific block party are Hispanic. Most speak a little English. Geoff, luckily, is fluent in Spanish. This setting is comfortable for him. He saw a Hispanic man standing behind the water cooler. Geoff asked him, in Spanish, if he wanted some water. The man responded, "No, I am serving it." I walked up to the same water station near the end, not knowing what had happened earlier, and was going to use a little water from the cooler to rinse my sticky finger tips. (My OCD is challenged at this type of event.) He asked if I wanted water. I thought it was nice of him to offer, and it made me feel a little uncomfortable to be served. Wow. Quickly, I realized that he was here to serve, as I was. I think he did a better job than I did. I mentioned the story to Geoff, and he then told me the story of his water incident. We both went for a water, and each time, he tried to serve us as we were trying to serve him. Water. I know there is some lesson in there. Grin.....
As for the shirts? Guess I like that I am on "The team," not just the "Forever Fed" side. I wouldn't mind wearing the shirt for advertising reasons outside of the events. They are really bright, and I am fearful that it might cause a migraine, or a seizure, therefore, I will blog about it, and pray that you come out and help, and then share the event with others.