I don’t normally think about whether or not I’ll be able to get my hands on a decent breakfast every day. I eat the same thing every morning, because it’s always there and right in front of me. Cereal always seems acceptable. Sometimes I’d prefer a pastry or an egg, but I easily take what I can get.
I went to SOME for the same reason: because I thought it would be easy. I thought all I had to do was put some food on a plate and pass it along an assembly line. I did do that, but that wasn’t the main event down in that DC organization. People, specifically volunteers, not only serve food, but offer coffee, and bag lunches for the visiting homeless to take with them as they leave.
I always volunteered myself to stand in the assembly line for the first few visits, spoon out vegetables, pass the plate along, and wait for the next plate so I could continue my part of the job. There was no real conversation or interactivity between me and the homeless men and women that came through the back door, and for a while, I was perfectly okay with that. I’ve never been a very social person. I’d much prefer working at a desk, by myself.
My conscience got to me after a while. I steadily grew more and more eager to step out of my comfort zone and try something involving a little more interaction. The closest I could get was handing out sandwiches, which is what my courage allowed me to do. To this day, I’m still better at working at a desk. But at least I took a chance.
I’d like to think that I left SOME with valuable experience. It didn’t seem so special at first, but as I thought deeper about what I had actually just done, I realized that every day I went to SOME, I made someone’s day a little bit better by giving them a plate of warm food and a sheltered place at which to eat it. Thinking back, that’s rewarding, and that’s enough for me.