On the spirit of volunteerism

I am currently on the road visiting my sister and nephew in Portland.  When I told my sister that I was coming up she said that she had a commitment on Saturday at Blanchet House and would I like to / mind going with them.

After working with the /hug project my ideas of volunteerism have shifted a little. I have to say though that volunteering in person for people who are on the fringe of society is a little frightening. We ended up serving 150 dinners in the span of an hour.  It was good to see that the system that the staff had was very efficient as the room held about 40 people, and the jobs were broken down into simple chunks with someone who had done it before leading each group.

I determined not to be judgmental, the group of people who came through were quite diverse.  There were obvious mental patients, there were other people who looked like they were just a little down on their luck, there were homeless and there were backpackers. Everyone was nice, they ate, moved through and went about their way.

We were only there for 90 minutes and out.


3 thoughts on “On the spirit of volunteerism

  1. yes I can imagine that being face to face with the people could be a moment of enlightenment. despite my empathy for the those who are living on the margins, i don’t usually make intimate contact with them in any manner. i can imagine that my ‘views’ are probably stereotyped.
    good to hear you did this.

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