Today, over fifty million American families live in hunger. In addition, more than 600,000 people go to bed each night without anywhere to call home. In account of these astonishing statistics, I have decided to take on the epidemics of hunger and homelessness in the city of Philadelphia.
To make an impact in this world, I decided to volunteer at a ministry in my church, Deliverance Evangelistic Church. I volunteered every Sunday, for seven Sundays at the ministry called Helping Hands. In Helping Hands, members of the church feed the people who live in hunger, are homeless, or people who just are in need of encouragement, fellowship, and love. Some of the people who live in shelters would like to come to church, but they don’t want to miss their meal at their shelter. So the ministry steps in by providing them a cooked meal and transportation to return to the shelter.
I also tried to make an impact by creating 20 care packages for the homeless people in the ministry. Each package contained a bottle of lotion, a bottle or bar of soap, 5-6 cotton swabs, a few cotton balls, tissues, 2 peppermints, a few condiments, a gospel tract, and a personal letter from me.
On my first day, March 31, I started off by preparing the pastries and drinks in my church’s kitchen. Then as time went on, I got the opportunity to prepare the hot food on the plates. And finally, I got to serve the people. At first, I was going to partner with an organization called Bread for the World, but I decided that volunteering at Helping Hands would be more hands on. Volunteering in this ministry went along amicably because everyone in the ministry was willing to help me out and explain everything that I had to do. Although things went along well, I did face one obstacle. I felt that it wasn’t appropriate to take pictures of people who are homeless. But I resolved that matter by taking pictures of me creating the care packages.
Volunteering in this ministry has changed me. I have become more appreciative of the many blessings in my life. I noticed that I take for granted so many things that others struggle to obtain. When I was making the care packages, a lot of my materials were from around my house. Mainly all of the soap and lotion that I gave away were my unused Christmas presents. I noticed that a lot of the things in my house that are of no use could go to charity. Everyday, I am still learning about the world around of us. I only have begun to understand the many struggles that homeless and hungry people face each day. Also, I am still learning how to aide these conflicts in our society by volunteering or spreading awareness. In my journey of learning, it is best that I work with others because I would be very complicated trying to feed and service an amass of people all by myself.
This You and the World project has helped me discover another side of me. It has revealed the helping, hand-on version of me. I would have never thought that I would be working in a kitchen and service dozens of people a meal every sunday. But this project has given me that opportunity. And because I have fallen in love with doing this kind of community service, I will continue to work in the Helping Hands ministry.
Here is a video of my Agent of Change: