Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful For Multitude Of Ever-Ready Volunteers

Day before yesterday I talked about the Sugartree Ministry and their care of so many homeless and poor families that are left in the wake of losing 10,000+ jobs when the major employer, DHL, closed their distribution Center. Sixty Minutes came in first to report on the situation followed by Rachel Ray who came in and did a wonderful renovation of the dining room and kitchen for Sugartree But what makes our community really great are the many, many volunteers who give of themselves to serve their fellow men and women to help make their lives a little more comfortable.

Today is one our church’s two days that we fix and serve the hot meal at Sugartree. We served 655 people with the help of two different girl scout troops and a fraternity and sorority group from the Wilmington College. Keep in mind that dinner at the Sugartree Ministry is not a food line that people fill up their plates and then find a table – Everyone who comes to Sugartree is treated like a rich person. They are seated at tables and served their food on china and given stainless utensils and a drink by smiling volunteers. The dishes are then picked up and the tables cleaned off getting ready for the second seating. That is what happened today but during 4 turnovers! That is the most people I have seen eat at Sugartree! While pretty scary that there are that many people who need to find free food somewhere – it is also heart-warming to see so many people willing to donate many hours of their time for others.

We have a Homeless Shelter in Wilmington who helps people that have been evicted from their homes with up to 6 weeks of temporary housing and food. I deliver pastry products to the shelter on Saturday and Sunday. One recent Saturday I was told by the shelter manager to come see the new house that will join the original 2 once renovation is completed. I was amazed to find two prominent surgeons in jeans and work shoes tearing done the wall board in the new house getting ready to completely renovate this Home. One is an orthopedic surgeon who contributes 20-30 hours a week on top of a very ambitious surgery schedule and practice. His companion is a cardiology surgeon who also was wielding a crowbar.

Can you imagine? People who earn several hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars of funds in their careers doing the volunteer hour they do each week. They want no publicity – they feel good donating their time and efforts for those not as fortunate as they are. Humbling to say the least!

Here is wishing you and yours a great Thanksgiving tomorrow! My heart is filled with the warmth generated by the many volunteers we have here in Southwestern Ohio.

Ralph Taylor
Blogging for Ed Winkle

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