I spent a lot of my time volunteering. As you can imagine my clothing and food budget for 8 kids is out of this world. My community has many resources. I reach out to those and volunteer and in return I am given things to cut back on my cost. Food, clothing, bedding things of that nature. This week I helped out at a church baking bread and another unloading canned food. As I watched the line of those in need grow I started to people watch. Just paying attention to those around me really. I overheard ladies get angry of their place in line. Standing nearly two hours to be the first to pick from the food. Food that was to be discarded from the stores. Not top of the line food, not t-bones. We are talking about the food that is on verge of expiration. Food that has been smashed. Veggies that are on brink of rioting. These ladies I watched sneaking extras beyond allotted numbers that had been put in place to ensure there was enough for everyone. A part of me thought how can you be greedy with so many behind you in need. The other part of me though how low must she be right now to feel a need to be greedy over 3 day past expiration cookies. There were 300 families between the 3 places I volunteered this week. 300 people that were concerned of hunger issues. I felt disappointed in the world. So many have far more than they could ever use and so many are careless for food waste while so many are hungry.
I watched those in line I knew personally who were from same household but were getting food as though they were in two. I could tell some worried if I would speak up. If I would snitch them out and they then be able to get as much food as they were hoping. I didn’t mention a thing. My heart said they were there for a real need and the amount of food being given for one family it wasn’t enough. I understood. I sympathize. I wonder if they know that they are allowed more if they give their time. I feared speaking up and telling him of how I was able to take food for my time. How it gave me a bit more pride in taking that way. I wondered if it would give them the same gratification. I wanted to say I am not just a volunteer I am not looking down on you. I wanted to relate, console. I said nothing. I am so disappointed now that I didn’t speak up. I didn’t share my resources with anyone. When the women spoke in anger at each other and whispered of how they were cheating ( some were) I wanted to say something I wanted to be the positive voice. I wanted to speak so badly. I just couldn’t. I have all these outlets to connect me to inspire, help, build, encourage and I am still just silent. I am going to try harder next week to reach out. To ease someone’s anger. Maybe I will show someone how to give in place of just taking. Show them how incredible that can feel. I will show compassion for someone struggling. I will make a impact the next volunteer trip. I will not just be a body there watching and not doing. I will not just stack food and bake bread without interacting. We all need each other and I will do more.