Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Patiently Waiting

Catherine and Helen were part of today's great team of dining room volunteers. They worked nonstop, serving 418 meals in two hours!
Today, just like the last three Wednesdays, a man was already in line for the community meal when I entered Trinity Episcopal Cathedral to start cooking.

I always arrive before 7:30 a.m. and the meal doesn't even start until 11 a.m., so he had a very long wait ahead of him.

The first Wednesday I saw him waiting by the door,  I said, "good morning" and asked him if I could bring him a cup of coffee.

"Oh yes please," he said and when I returned with the cup of coffee and a Starbucks pastry he said, "God bless you lady."

Now that we've encountered each other three times, we know each other by name and I know just how Alfred likes his coffee.

"Hello, it's good to see you," I said to him this morning. "I'll be right out with your cup of coffee and I remember that you like it with sugar." He gave me a really big smile.

Alfred's sweet and grateful response is one of the reasons I love volunteering. Treating nice people just makes you feel good. Soon there were others waiting behind him and when the doors finally opened at 11 a.m. there was a very long line for the free for everyone meal.

Being the last Wednesday of the month, we were expecting a big crowd and we were right. We served 418 meals today.

One of today's most popular and colorful entrees was barbecued ribs with mashed sweet potatoes, tomatoes and blueberries. The ribs were donated by Good Samaritan Hospital and the blueberries and sweet potatoes were picked up by our gleaners from The Oregon Food Bank.

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