Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Would you like some more juice sir? "No, but I sure would like a home."

Poverty is indeed a global issue, but it is also a problem that hits close to home. I live in an area in which almost everyone knows they have a warm bed to sleep in every night, and a roof to cover their heads. We don't have to worry about the harshness of the cold winters because we can just switch on the eat. And the only hunger we experience is during math class because its already been 3 whole hours since breakfast and lunch is next period. To us, the issue of poverty barely even crosses our minds. We basically all live in a bubble, closed off to all the problems in the world. But every once in a while, an experience comes along and brings us back down to the real world.
In junior high, every year during the holidays, my choir would go down to the local soup kitchen to serve up food and some holiday spirit through song. The first year I went, I was in complete shock. We all took a bus over to the soup kitchen and helped set up the tables and help the food ready to be served. Pretty soon, people started filing in, some alone, and some with their entire family. They all looked like they were freezing, but also grateful to finally be indoors. Eventually, all 20 of the long wooden tables were filled with people looking cold, hungry, and eager for food. As we began to sing, I looked out at the tables, I was so surprised by the vast amount of people that had showed up. All these people. Homeless. With no place to go, no food to eat most of the time. I just couldn't believed that by my home, in the area with the big houses and the fancy cars, there were people who could barely manage to get food into their stomach every day. My first trip to the soup kitchen really was an eye opener to see what the world was like. Every other year that I went back with my choir, I went back with more and more enthusiasm, trying my best to brighten up their day. By doing so, I hope that for just one moment, they will be able to smile and forget all of their worries.


4 comments:

Melissa said...

When I was in eighth grade, we had an opportunity to go to a less fortunate school. I went there and saw a dirty neighborhood with a run down school. The school did not have as good an education as we do. I totally agree we are in a bubble. Just miles away is a less fortunate community than us and most of us don't even realize it until we've witnessed it.

Kim said...

Money is such a struggle now more than ever. My dad told me yesterday how the biggest bank in the nation laid off 50,000 people. These people all have their own families to care for, affecting over 200,000 people in all. The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, where people can forget their struggles and sufferings. It is a time where everyone stands on common ground, no matter where they live or what their income is. It is great that your choir goes to the soup kitchen. I know that our school, and our chem class, are raising cans for these havens over the holidays. There isn't a greater feeling than the reward of giving, so everyone bring in cans!

andijgirl said...

Living in certain places today can definetly shelter you from the harsh realities of the outside world. Often we don't even consider the posibility that the word "hunger" has no true meaning to us because we've never FELT true hunger. That's why doing something like the can food drive in schools is so important. It helps prevent true hunger =)

jennifer said...

Soup kitchens are a really eye-opening experience! I have only been to one and it was a few years ago, but I remember the experience and what a shock it was to realize just how many people were actually homeless. I think that everyone should go visit a soup kitchen, especially around this time of Thanksgiving, to grasp an understanding of just how lucky we are, and to feel a sense of satisfaction each time a homeless person thanks you for volunteering.