Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Was Homeless

A line of people quickly queued up at the serving station, glad to be out of the unspring-like 45 degree weather. Three moms with bundled-up infants and a toddler in strollers shivered off the chill.
“Good morning! How are you today?” beamed volunteer Katie Koscinski, SFO, as she placed turkey or bologna sandwich, orange slices and a muffin on a tray. Next to her, volunteer Anna Pereira was ladling soup and greeting the hungry with a big smile and friendly words.
Most of the hungry people responded in similar fashion. Many were extremely polite. A friendly, peaceful place, even with the songs emanating from Sr. Roberta Southwick’s organ and microphone in the dining hall.
As Anna and Katie served 90 meals Wednesday, two other regular volunteers, John McCabe and Ronald Macior, were helping parents with their children’s trays, cleaning tables and flitting back to the kitchen with dirty trays and to check on what needed to be done.
“The Good Lord” brought him to the soup kitchen, Ron noted. He volunteers every day, and looks forward to coming in when he gets up in the morning.
“A year and a half ago I was homeless. I’ve been to rock bottom. The same as some of the people we’re serving here.”
He had found himself unemployed after spending 12 years in restaurant and kitchen work. He’s looking forward to returning to the restaurant scene, but in the meantime he has a friendly word to say to practically everyone coming to the soup kitchen.
Back in the kitchen, Codey Kistner was spending his first day as a volunteer, scrubbing and sanitizing trays and other kitchen equipment.
Encouraged by his father who wanted him to get involved in parish life, Codey said he planned to come in as often as he could. “I love it. It’s fun. And the people are nice.”

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