Stickman Review   Leave a comment

Soup Kitchen

Image by Frankie Roberto via Flickr

To read Thanks.Giving. click here

This is a story, based in part on an experience I had a few years ago, helping out at a local soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. It was shortly after my former spouse had gotten out of rehab, and he very strongly wanted to begin to give back to the community in some way, a common precept of AA. I agreed to go with him, so after our meal at my mother’s, we said  goodbye to our family and went down to St. Vincent’s.

Serving in a soup kitchen, working with the homeless, wasn’t something new to me, but it was to him. While he did his duty, making sure the bowls and plates were full, I took the time to sit down, and get to know some of the people there. I think we were both blessed by the experience, and I look fondly on it as one of the best times we had, together.

This very short story, Thanks. Giving. is an amalgamation of some of the stories I heard from the people we served. Names, of course, have been changed. This is also one of the rare times I use an obscenity within a written work of mine. Considering the content, and the daily, harsh lives of the homeless, I didn’t feel the use of the c word was superfluous, rather it was appropriate to jar those of us comfortably sitting in our warm homes, reading stories off the internet, make us feel a taste of what life on the streets, make us squirm.

Shortly after this Thanksgiving, I discovered I was pregnant, and so didn’t have the opportunity to go back, when the smells of my own kitchen were bad enough to send me running, I didn’t want nausea to undermine the work being done. These days I volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, both on building sites and at the local Restore. If you’re short on New Years Resolutions this year, I encourage you to find some way to volunteer, give back in even a small way, on a weekly or monthly basis, as your schedule allows. If I can do it, between three kids, two ex-husbands, and one full time job, anyone can!

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