Volunteering for a Food Drive
"I'm hungry. Let's get something to eat before we go."
It was around ten o'clock on a Saturday morning. Normally my parents might find me in bed or playing on the computer at this time, but I was dressed and grasping the doorknob in our kitchen on this particular morning. I felt a slight wave of hunger flow through my body, so I suggested to my mother that we have a light mid-morning snack to tide us over before lunch. I searched through a cupboard and found some crackers to take with us. It was going to be a hard day, and although I knew the people at the church would probably bring snacks and refreshments for us, I wanted to be sure that I had a full stomach on which to work. I wouldn't realize the true meaning of hunger, however, until my day of work on the postal workers' food drive was done.
My mother helped out at various times throughout the year at volunteer events in the community. When I was born, she passed a few of her traits to me, and I, too, became interested in volunteering. I spent a day each summer going down to my grandmother's church and helping out with a summer fair by selling items and collecting money for the church. As Mom started to talk about the postal worker's food drive for the local food cupboard, I was anxious to help out in my own community. The idea fascinated me, helping out my neighbors by collecting and dispersing food to where it was needed. I knew I'd feel just like Robin Hood…taking from the rich and giving to the poor. In this case, though, all of the process was voluntary.
My impression of hunger and starvation was limited in the past to the memorable television commercials for UNICEF and the children's funds around the world. I never realized that hunger might occur closer to home. I certainly never thought that anyone within my neighborhood or my town would be hungry.
Mom drove us to where the food cupboard was located, at the Congregational church. As I entered in to the large meeting room downstairs at the church, I was met by around eight smiling residents of our town. A few of them were older ladies; a couple of them were middle-aged men. I would come to know them better as my visit elapsed at the church. I was unsure and a bit nervous at first. I hadn't visited the church since my elementary grades during which I participated in a weeklong summer Bible school. I took a minute to reacquaint myself with the building. Mom led me to the back of the room to an inconspicuous, small room behind a green door. Inside was an amazing sight: shelves upon shelves of canned and boxed food. I felt as if I was in a storage room for a supermarket. I couldn't help but laugh at the amount of food contained in such a small room. I would be one of the few allowed and trusted in this back room.
As I exited the room, I noticed the other people in the room busily setting up the church tables in the shape of an L and preparing for the first shipment of food. The tables...