I was handed a flyer from a one Ms. B ____. It was a flyer promoting & welcoming people to eat a nice afternoon meal, pick out some gifts for Christmas (toys & coats & gloves,) & receive a bag of FREE toiletries.
This was an event I chose to attend, and to offer my services – to volunteer to do whatever it was that might need to be done.
After all, I have been in that position of helplessness, of starvation & homelessness. I very much wanted to be of assistance in helping these others in their time of need. Especially during this part of the year. This special season when Maricals DO happen. I have been overwhelmingly blessed the past month. A month of safety & Good Health & a Home I am truly happy to live in.
Becoming even more positive, along with wanting to acquaint myself – and become a serving member – with this community, I believe, is essential for my psychological & spiritual well-being. Our community, which I can legitimately call my HOME, could use a pair of extra hands.
I’m more than happy to oblige.
We (Special Lady Friend and me) took her electric, refrigerated van to the church. We stopped at a Family Dollar, buying cases of bottled water. After not being able to find to find the building, I started feeling antsy. Social anxiety/anxiety is not a fun accessary included with conscious being. But it is something I am learning to cope with. And I’m taking medication for the disorder.
This was an event I chose to attend, and to offer my services – to volunteer to do whatever it was that might need to be done. And My Special Lady Friend was just as excited as I was to be of assistance. She was very dedicated to conjuring-up something more she could do.
What started off as text messaging to the Contact in charge of the operation for more information, turned into me & My Special Lady Friend donating a little over $200.00 worth of fresh beef to the cause. Cuts of differing steaks, ground beef & roasts were Our gift & contribution to something that I’m very sensitive about. Going hungry & cold for long periods of time – hell, ANYTIME – strikes a certain appalling, protective chord in my heart & in my mind to SAVE the person from their plight.
We walked into chaos. Everyone was rushing to move something; tops of roasters were removed, serving spoons & forks placed along side of said roasters. Bottles of soda & deserts were arranged with care. (That was one of my first tasks, handed down to me.)
There was chattering galore. I tried staying silent. When I speak, it’s obvious I am not from North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia… I’m a Yankee. And everyone knew it.
“Da Yah’ll drink sweet tea where ya’ll are from?”
A young girl, around 15 or 16, asked me that while I was breaking-up some chunks of ice for drinks. I didn’t know what to say. But my reply was: “I don’t know. I drink coffee.”
For some reason, people laughed at my comment.
After the teenager moved along, I asked her mother what the hell was with the sweet tea question.
“We all took trip to Colorado. Seems soon as we crossed state lines, nobody had sweet tea sweet enough for my little girl. And, honey, you a Northerner. She loves the mystique of Northerners.”
I didn’t pursue it.
What compliment I did receive was something along the lines of: “You may be a Yankee, but you seem harmless.”
– (Indeed.) –
The way things were set up, a person or family would walk through the line, starting with the roasters – full of ham & turkey, potatoes & green beans – next were rolls & other edibles of such persuasion, and then the dessert & drinks table, where I was first positioned, as the “BARTENDER.”
When the guests were finished with their meal, a trip into the pantry was in order.
It was hot in that pantry. And I did my best to keep up with the flow of traffic. I was putting canned foods, boxes of cookies & goods in glass jars, finally, at the end of the line, a large freezer, filled with meat into a medium-sized cardboard box.
After the box was filled, I was making trips to the parking lot. I loaded up the boxes of food. Boxes of toys & cloths.
I heard a lot of “God bless yous,” “Jesus loves yous,” & “You’re so kind.”
There were elderly ladies there. Young couples with babies… and there was a single man there. I was asked by Ms.__ to sit & talk with him.
Water to his trailer had been turned off.
My Special Lady Friend and I went to the Dollar General again, bought more water in gallon jugs. He had medication that needed to be picked-up. We drove to the pharmacy & got it for him.
Funny thing happened on the ride to get that poor soul’s meds. My Special Lady Friend, while driving us to the Walmart pharmacy, told me that all the ladies there loved me. And how kind & sweet her husband was.
That kind of made both of us laugh.
“Did you correct them,” I asked with a Joker’s smirk on my face, knowing the answer.
“No. I didn’t”
It was a good thing what we did. My heart pounded the war-drum-beat of purpose… of acknowledging the kindness BOTH of us expressed at this Whispers of Love Christmas Dinner.
But I never thought I would be doing what I did that Saturday, December 18, 2021.
It’s a far-cry away from the Youngstown, OH streets… the sickness of the past being simply that: something in the past I am healing from.
And I’m so grateful others are receiving some of the benefits of me BEING better & THINKING better.