Most of our weekends are spent relaxing, doing errands, cooking, and seeing friends and family. For years I volunteered at the MSPCA every weekend, a past time I loved but one that, while starting my business and getting acquainted with the boat, kind of started to dwindle last summer. Luckily, I am getting into a routine, and am hoping to make volunteering more of a part of my life again. It was perfect timing when Michelle filled me in on a volunteer opportunity that Jen had organized for a few bloggers, cooking and serving at the Boston Rescue Mission.
You might know Jen from her blog, Tiny Urban Kitchen, and the fact that she won the Foodbuzz Project Food Blog last year. I was elated when she won, and pretty astonished to learn that she was donating her $10,000 prize to Boston Rescue Mission. But that’s not all, Jen has set out to match that $10,000! If you’d like to help, here’s a link to the donation page.
I arrived at the Boston Rescue Mission in time to help Michelle and Jen unpack massive boxes of food they had picked up at Costco. Our strength was definitely tested!
While we were getting settled, Elina joined us, and we got started on our meal. On the menu? Bacon wrapped pork with a maple syrup drizzle, roasted potatoes, buttered corn, salad, and brownies.
The shoppers picked up a LOT of food, but we had a lot of people to feed. The Boston Rescue Mission offers a variety of services including a residential program for people who are working to recover from addiction, a homeless shelter, a meal program for families in need, and a place for hungry people to come for meals.
Jen and I tackled cleaning, cutting, and seasoning the potatoes before they were roasted in the kitchen’s many ovens.
Once everything was cooking, we had little to do but mix the salad and dressing. We were a good team!
Once the food was ready, it was time to serve. Residents of the in-house program arrived first, followed by a general seating, where anyone is welcome to come in for a meal. Later in the evening, the people who are going to stay the night come to eat.
It was so much fun to cook together; we all love to do it anyway, and it was even better cooking a meal for people who needed it. Serving was even more fun; a large majority of the people we served, despite various tough life circumstances, were very cheerful and even more grateful. I felt myself get choked up a few times throughout the afternoon; even though I know it’s out there, it’s never easy to be faced with so much need in the world, so many people going without. I shouldn’t need a reminder of how great my life is and to be more grateful, but like many people, I let small day-to-day things get me down. Serving others made me remember how lucky I am and how doing some sort of service is just the right thing to do for all human beings.
I wish I could do work like this every day, and I am definitely interested in returning on a more regular basis. Many thanks to Jen for getting us all out of the house on a Sunday and to the whole group for making it so much fun.
Do you enjoy volunteering for any particular cause or organization?