Do you know who relies on food banks, soup kitchens, shelters and meal programs? Would you be surprised to learn that it’s single-parent families, two-parent families, people on social assistance, children, seniors, working people and homeowners alike?
Mission Possible is one organization that aims to lend support to those in need. It is a humanitarian agency that transforms lives by helping those challenged by homelessness and poverty achieve a renewed sense of dignity and purpose through meaningful work. In addition to its other programs, several times a week the Mission serves meals to those in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.
As part of Creation’s ‘Working Together to Make a Difference’ program, I’ve had the opportunity to serve lunch at Mission Possible three times since we formed a relationship with the organization in 2008. It’s always an unforgettable experience.
Are you looking for a way to give back this holiday season, and the whole year through? Try volunteering to spend some time serving meals at a local mission or shelter. Based on my experience with Mission Possible, here are my top reasons to get involved. Some of them might surprise you.
7 Reasons You Should Volunteer Serving Meals
- The environment is a model for how to treat everyone with respect and dignity.
- Learn about how to build great teams and practice your teamwork skills – for example, each volunteer is assigned a clearly defined role which makes the kitchen friendly and efficient.
- Have interesting conversations! I always enjoy the diverse discussions I have with the Mission guests about things like who Creation is as a company, the God particle, and Canadian politics.
- Have even more interesting conversations! In addition to learning from the Mission guests, I enjoy the great discussion with the staff about their lives and involvement with the agency.
- It’s a good reminder to respect everyone’s differences, at home and at work – for example, respecting an individual’s preference to be left alone and not engage in a conversation.
- It’s like a family – it’s fun, and you get to meet some great characters. During my most recent visit I had to be quick to get out of the way of an 80-year-old, confident man who bypassed the line and went straight to his regular chair. (The Mission does its best to accommodate the elderly by serving them at their table).
- Pause, reflect, and appreciate people who are volunteering with severe disabilities of their own. What’s our excuse to not volunteer at a broader level?
So what are you doing this Christmas?
If you are interested in volunteering your time or making a donation, please contact an organization in your area. You’ll really be Making a Difference.