Revisited: Why Do Soup Kitchens Need Volunteer Servers?

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A couple of weeks ago I posted the question, “Why do soup kitchens need volunteer servers?”  It seems like if the only issue were that people needed food, all you would need to do is to provide the food and the space and those who were eating could fix the food and clean up when they were done.  The issue is that, generally, those who are in need of a soup kitchen have other issues going on.  It isn’t just a matter of them needing food – they need food because they have an addiction, mental disorder, or another issue. That same issue also makes it necessary to staff the soup kitchen and have volunteers prepare and serve the food.

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But today I also had another realization, or I should really say, revelation:  The reason that soup kitchens need volunteers is that it is good to have the volunteers and the patrons interact.  People who volunteer for serving at soup kitchens and other activities are generally the best of the best in a community.  They are often business and community leaders or future business and community leaders.  They are people who work to produce things and services – they are builders and doers.  They often have a great attitude, always looking to the bright side.  They are givers, which is what makes them successful in their business life.  They also generally have their priorities in order and a good plan for life.

It is good for the patrons to meet people who are making good choices.  Such individuals can serve as examples of people making good choices and doing things to both better their lives and the lives of those in their communities.  They are often successful, and show that good choices lead to success, happiness, and security.  Hopefully, some of the patrons will see their example and start to get themselves out of the hole into which they have put themselves.  They can also see how making better choices can lead to a better life.

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It is also good for those who are succeeding to interact with those eating at shelters and soup kitchens.  Often it is difficult to continue to make the difficult choices that help you succeed financially when everyone else around you is spending with wild abandonment.  It is good to see where you could be if you don’t prepare and have contingencies like an emergency fund, life and disability insurance, and a paid-off home.  It is also good to remind yourself often of the blessings you have, because most people are just one major medical event or a job loss away from being on the other side of the counter.

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