Barbara here again. Sorry for the late post loyal followers of the ASB Hope Is Vital blog site, but due to a the forecast of snow, our team left on Friday night instead of Saturday morning, so we didn’t get a chance to blog. But have no fear. Here we go…
Friday was our last day at Community Servings. We all are humbled by how much the organization needs volunteers and how much we were able to help by being there. At the end of our four day service, our team managed to help prepare 2950 meals for the clients at Community Servings! That’s a big deal for me. I think what was even more inspiring is how many of the volunteers have been coming for years, 5 days a week, for 8 hours a day and are able to feed so many families. My team has the privilege of calling what we doing for 4 days ‘community service’, yet many of these volunteers have made Community Service a part of their lives. It’s no longer service for them, but just another day. Which is absolutely amazing and a place I hope everyone on my team, including me, gets to at some point in their lives.
Speaking of my team, I am amazed at how much my team was able to come together. We had a few hiccups along the way. We’ve had deep conversations in which we didn’t always see eye to eye, but we also had amazing inside jokes, stories, and a great time in Boston. We spoke about race, class, gender, sex, and so much more. I am proud that we felt comfortable enough with each other to ask deep questions and even comfortable enough to disagree. Our learning partner was imperative to how well this trip turned out and I just wanted to give a quick shout-out!
So, loyal readers, I’m sure you’re familiar with this part of the post. Here’s hashtag time:
#trollingforhipsters #Where’stheparty #thisisrealgold #notforfacebook #freeEmily #thatfalsettothough #whenindoubt #straddleitout #Frankieisapuppy #weonlyhave$313 #sobecareful #youdoyoudude #barbaraisafacist #justsayingisallI’msaying #vamanos #you’refired #Emilyisapanda #caseytheselfiequeen #everyoneissosassy #speakingtoFrenchdudes #thedishroomisnojoke #don’trunforthetrain #whereistamar #ASBBoston #hopeisvital #HostelingInternational #communityservings
Hoe you enjoyed reading!
Barbara here. Today was our team’s first day of service at Community Servings. This is my second year working at this amazing organization and so far, nothing’s changed. And I mean this as a very high compliment. The chefs are still extremely talented and devoted to making nutritious and delicious food. The volunteers are still hopeful, excited, hospitable, and helpful. The mission is still the same: delivering nutritious and tasty meals to families living with chronic illnesses. I am so glad to be back!
We began our first day of service with the volunteer orientation. Our team learned how important washing our hands were as many of Community Servings clients have suppressed immune systems and so any contact with bacteria or germs could potentially result in a client’s hospitalization or death. We learned the importance an organization like Community Servings has in the community. Many of the volunteers Our team spent the entire day slicing, dicing, plating, scoping, packaging, washing, you name it! We realized just how much thought gets put into feeding these families. I was on the assembly line packaging a meal of chicken cacciatore, mashed potatoes, and vegetables and I remember that we would wipe the containers so that they were clean and aesthetically appealing, which reminded me that actual families are eating these meals and we should treat them with the respect they deserve.
Today reminded me a lot of cultural assumptions about those who receive free food or services and assumption that they will be glad to get ANYTHING (the sort of beggars can’t be choosers scenario). Community Servings reminded me that retaining the dignity of those we serve is fundamentally in service work. We should not come in with the attitude that those we serve should be appreciative of whatever we give them. Rather Community Servings helps me realize that I am working to benefit someone else, and I should think about their wants ad desires, not the other way around. I’m reminded of what serving the community means to me: understanding what the community needs and working to provide what community members need in tandem with the community. I am super excited about continuing to do just that with Community Servings for the next couple of days.
Till some other time!
I struggle with wrapping up our last days in Boston. I’m not sure what I should write, what needs to be conveyed, and most importantly how to convey it. I want readers to leave with a sense of profound understanding and depth after reading this post, but I am unsure if I would be able to accomplish that. What brilliant words of wisdom can I impart…? I’m sitting in the dining area of Hosteling International staring out the window at cars going by, people bustling to and from their destination, and a city going about business as usual. I’m struck with the knowledge that when we leave, Boston will still continue to run the way it always has, with or without us. Depressing? No. It’s enlightening and refreshing. I’ve come to realize that I can’t wait for opportunities to come to me. Rather, I need to actively search for a way to make a difference because life won’t wait for me. The world doesn’t stop until I can get my bearings and figuring that there are people in need. Things keep happening whether I lift a finger to help or not, but where do I want to place myself in the continuum?
Volunteering at Community Servings (shout out to Fernandez, Lekisha, Kevin, Melissa, Chief Pierre, Sean, and any others that I forgot to mention) was an incredible and physically laboring experience. I would come back to the hostel after 7 hours of kitchen duty and slip into a state of blissful unconscious awareness of anything and everything (aka sleep) and wake up with the acute need to be back in the kitchen listening to Dark Horse and Happy for the umpteenth time (the soundtrack to our ASB trip by the way, right Ricky?), joking with the kitchen staff and making meals that help sustain the lives of over 800 people. I think back at the week we’ve had, the impact we’ve made, and the friendships forged and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to get out of the cyclic nature of me, myself, and I. The challenge for me is to not let this experience end. I need to remember what we’ve done here this past week and the lessons we learned.
So how do I end this blog? The only way that seems fitting for someone who has absolutely no social media accounts… in hashtags! Hope you’ve enjoyed reading our rants, because we sure enjoyed writing them.Remember that happiness starts with you, life is like a box of chocolates, and that if change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
#bestasbteamever #inbedwithricky #alexisissassy #darkhorse #happy #Fernandez #vamanos #thefishismyfriend #duh #noben #zackisasociopath #deanofsex #eugeneitsyourmother #RICHARD #dishroom #lickingtrainpoles #rickyisalwayshungry #tacoteam #holymatrimonybatman #pitchperfect #deliberation #tunahands #earlyisontime #nowastingtime #reflections #teambonding #deepconversations #14inches #Bahhhbrah #passion #20seconds #weirdart #carrotsfordays #pierevelation #stacydancing #aleve #chickengrease #whatisspringbreak #HostelingInternational #socialjustice #makingadifference #activecitizen #communityservings #landiscenter #ASB #Boston #newyorkisbetter #sonotsorry