Recently I volunteered at the OC Food Bank while home on summer vacation. Although it was a requirement I had for community service hours, I went in with a pretty positive attitude. Yes, it was going to be almost 100 degrees out but hey, I would be helping those in need, I could deal with the weather.
I arrived at the food bank at around 9:00 am. It was already around 80 degrees. Walking into the warehouse I honestly could not believe how big it was! There was SO much food and tons of volunteers. The second I walked through the door I felt a good energy. These people were happy!
I was introduced to the head guy at the food bank where he informed me all that they do at the location. They gather items, pass items out, everything you could imagine. These people really were making a difference and only down the street from me. How did I not know about this?
It was a few moments later that I realized my job for the day would include being outside with about five other volunteers passing out food boxes, vegetables, etc. I soon got the hang of what I was doing and began to really enjoy myself.
The process went something like this: a car would drive up to our food station with a number (either 1 or 2). This meant that the car would then receive that many boxes along with extras that we had: cheese, onions, potatoes, squash, etc. It varies every day.
The best part? The receivers of these boxes were SO grateful. I do not remember one car that did not smile and say "thank you." The boxes are given to senior citizens 70+ and I truly could not believe how happy they were.
Not only were the receivers of the boxes amazing, but also those who were giving. I worked with some hard-working men and women who do this 3-5 days a week. In the heat no less! You had no way of telling that they were tired because they always had a smile on their face and a servant's heart.
The people of the OC Foodbank really taught me that it isn't all about me. There are people out there who really have nothing and are still kind and loving. My time at the food bank showed me that the more we take a step back from ourselves and focus on those around us who truly need the help, the better things will be all around.
We are not meant to go through life just focused on ourselves and finding ways to build ourselves up. We are meant for something more. To serve those around us. To love those who may not feel loved.
As a Christian, I strongly believe in going the extra mile for those around me. However, one does not need to be a Christian to show kindness.
Thank you to the OC Foodbank for being so welcoming and unforgettable. I will definitely be back soon.