Monday, November 22, 2010

A thankful morning at the food bank.

This morning - I dragged my bootie out of bed at 6 a.m. to volunteer at the food bank in my town.  I had no idea what an impact it would have on my day & my soul.  I have volunteered before - being a part of a sorority in college, we did our philanthropic events.... feeding the homeless, ect.

But this was different.

I am a member of the Jr League in my home town.  If you don't know what it is, it's a women's organization that focuses on enhancing the community through philanthropy, volunteering, and raising money.  It's also a place to meet inspiring women.  I heard about it originally from my cousin, Mackenzie, who is the president of her chapter.  Volunteering is quickly becoming a staple of importance in my life.  Not only because of what I do for others, but because of what it does to me.

Today, I met up with a big handful of these Jr League women and several volunteers in our area and we fed the hungry.

But not the "typical" hungry you would think. These are every day-working people.  People who have recently lost their jobs, hit an unforgiving life speed bump.  People who just want to feed their family for the holiday.  Many were embarrassed to be in line... but all of them were extremely appreciative. I had to fight back tears a few times when some of them looked at me and said "thank you so much, god bless."

More than 2,000 people were already in line when I showed up at 7 a.m.  The line wrapped around the block - and immediately after I stepped out of my car, I took a deep breath...

Wow, there are so many hungry people.

We didn't hand out hot food - we handed out boxed stuffing, mashed potatoes, canned vegetables, cranberry, and (most importantly) turkeys.  The food bank (along with Jr League women & volunteers) gathered 7,056 turkeys...  & today, we passed out half of them... the other half will be handed out on Wednesday.

I did my best to be positive with a cheerful "Happy Thanksgiving" with every bag of canned food I distributed.  I made eye contact with them.  I wanted them to feel the warmth I hold for them in my heart.

I wish everyone a fulfilling thanksgiving holiday with their family.

I am truly thankful.
The line wrapped around for blocks.
Some of the Jr League girls getting just before distribution.

These are all the fixings.
These are a lot of the turkeys - so generous of our community to donate.
Handed out 2,000 of these bags.

{{Thank you to my friend, Tuti, for taking all the pictures}}

18 comments:

Jax said...

Ohmygosh girl I am doing this tomorrow at our local John 3:16! I agree with you about the face of hunger changing in our communities.... I volunteer a lot with the United Way, and they used to say "people who used to give are now in need.." I was like "I get it" until I saw it in person at the Salvation Army one day and only then did I REALLY get it. I'm glad you were able to go today and I'm looking forward to helping out in my town tomorrow. It certainly gives us a lot more to be thankful for in our own lives...

~Jamie Kubeczka~ said...

This was very sweet of you. I did this for years through my job, and it was a very rewarding and eye opening experience for me. We really have a lot to be thankful for.

A Wedding Story said...

How wonderful!

Mo said...

Oh wow Tracy, this was a beautiful post and I hope it inspires others to volunteer too. The Jr. League sounds like a wonderful group.
Have a wonderful holiday!

Bitsy said...

Thats so lovely xx

Natasha said...

what an incredible day!!! i love it when we can all donate a little bit of our time to help others who are in need.. such a great cause!

Kara said...

This post has me in tears. I would LOVE to get involved. Is this in EG Tracy? If you could pass along the info for the jr. league, I would love to get involved. Thanks so much!

Katie said...

If it is an EG Jr League group, I would love some information on it too. Would you mind emailing me a link or some ifo?
kcuchna AT gmail DOT com. Thanks!

Lori said...

Bravo for you Tracy! I did this a few years ago - we delivered food baskets right before Christmas. Although we are by no means wealthy ~ it opened my eyes and made me very thankful for what we have. ((big huge hugs)) for a job well done! xo

Kassie said...

No.way. I know Tuti!! I think we are in the same JL! I'm a New Member, though. So sweet, I LOVE volunteering with/for these people. Means so much to me!

Katie said...

Would you mind sending me info on the EG Junior League (if that's what chapter you're in)?
pnkrkprncss11 AT aol DOT com
I would appreciate it!

Aimee said...

Good for you for volunteering. I miss volunteering. I just need to get back into it. With only one car right now it makes it super difficult...

Thats so great that you were able to help all those people. It is so sad about all the people out there who just dont have enough money to get by.

Chiara said...

This is so wonderful!!!!
Happy Thanksgiving
xoxo

Nicole Marie said...

isn't it amazing how appreciative and thankful people who have nothing are. i'm amazed everyday by the parents and so many students at my school. they are so thankful because they don't take a single thing for granted.

Kassie said...

I do! Well, in Folsom, but the Sacramento Junior League! Are you an Active? I've never seen you in a New Member meeting. But I've missed a couple. Small world!!! :) And Tuti is a doll, so sweet. :)

Kerrymarie said...

what an amazing thing to do tracy!

Simone said...

Such a wonderful thing to do Tracy, well done.

Loved this post, you expressed everything beautifully.

Happy Thanksgiving honey :) x

Smiling is Good for Your Teeth said...

This is Awesome Tracy! I am felt your warmth just by reading your post!!!