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Switch to Forum Live View Has anyone ever worked in a soup kitchen?
7 years ago  ::  Feb 25, 2008 - 6:44PM #1
Emmanuelle110
Posts: 108
I'm trying to find out where soup kitchens are located in my area because I've always wanted to help out at one but I don't know what to expect.  I just wanted to know if anyone's ever volunteered at a soup kitchen and if so, what was it like?
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 25, 2008 - 6:57PM #2
sydneymoon
Posts: 3,680
It has always been a terrific experience for me. I haven't done it in a long while because our church signs up on weekdays to do it and I work full time. There's a huge energy level while preparing the food. Regulars seem to find a niche and take ownership in their job.
After food preparation and serving, we all sit down w/ our neighbors to pray and then eat.
In addition to food prep, we set up tables and place table clothes or butcher paper down...what ever was available. I helped clean up the kitchen, took the trash out and helped w/ a quick bathroom clean-up.
My opportunity to do something similar now comes w/ an evening volunteer program at a local homeless shelter (sponsored by another church). We set up beds, prepare a dinner and then serve it. We eat the meal w/ our neighbors as we do at the soup kitchen.
I find this an experience like no other. It's a chance to to strip away the stereotypes and enjoy the many stories that need to be told. It truly is my favorite ministry.
Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2008 - 9:54AM #3
Paladin4God
Posts: 9
[QUOTE=sydneymoon;313363]It has always been a terrific experience for me. I haven't done it in a long while because our church signs up on weekdays to do it and I work full time. There's a huge energy level while preparing the food. Regulars seem to find a niche and take ownership in their job.
After food preparation and serving, we all sit down w/ our neighbors to pray and then eat.
In addition to food prep, we set up tables and place table clothes or butcher paper down...what ever was available. I helped clean up the kitchen, took the trash out and helped w/ a quick bathroom clean-up.
My opportunity to do something similar now comes w/ an evening volunteer program at a local homeless shelter (sponsored by another church). We set up beds, prepare a dinner and then serve it. We eat the meal w/ our neighbors as we do at the soup kitchen.
I find this an experience like no other. It's a chance to to strip away the stereotypes and enjoy the many stories that need to be told. It truly is my favorite ministry.[/QUOTE]


to expand on sydneymoon,

you get to share Christ with others, to listen to their problems, and to share Hope with them. It's a wonderful thing to share the message. I've always gotten goosebumps when I speak of my Lord to others, and I get the satisfaction of helping a brother or a sister in Chist. . . because we all are our brother's keeper.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2008 - 6:40PM #4
ether_buny
Posts: 32
[QUOTE=Emmanuelle110;313333]I'm trying to find out where soup kitchens are located in my area because I've always wanted to help out at one but I don't know what to expect.  I just wanted to know if anyone's ever volunteered at a soup kitchen and if so, what was it like?[/QUOTE]
Volunteering isn't all it's cracked up to be. Rumors and opinions vary widely. Not everyone is god gifted, talented or godsent or good at what they do. It takes certain skills to connect and relate to people and get it right. Not everyone is cut out for it or will be good at it regardless of how many advanced degrees they have or how much time spent on the job they have accrued being helpful. Survivors of adverse circumstances in life may not have a very good attitude. That's why they are the recipient of volunteer efforts and not experts. BTDT isn't good qualifications for being an expert or sympathetic or compassionate. Those who have "been there done that" may want to have nothing to do with charity work since they are survivors of such efforts or the circumstances that brought them there in the first place. Those who have been the victims of volunteers or their helpfulness or lack of concern and interest are usually in a better position to judge.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2008 - 7:02PM #5
Sakhaiva
Posts: 942

Emmanuelle110 wrote:

I'm trying to find out where soup kitchens are located in my area because I've always wanted to help out at one but I don't know what to expect. I just wanted to know if anyone's ever volunteered at a soup kitchen and if so, what was it like?



I'll second the other posts with a *yes*  and I took my eldest son with.  He and I  went with other people from church. One of the women who drove with me was from Ethiopia and had just herself moved out of a shelter (with her two preschool aged children) So its was cool for her to be on the other side of things.

What to expect - people usually meet off site then carpool to the soup kitchen (saves on parking)

My experience is that we also sign up to bring food, which we later serve.

The people who run soup kitchens are usually very clear about instructions. They will assign jobs to each person. (Be quick.)

Babies and toddlers will be among those you serve. Which reminds me, soup kitchens and shelters usually take donations of diapers, bottles, formula and toys.

When all of the people have been served and have left, the workers get together, pray and eat what is left.

(You'll wear a hairnet which will be provided.)


The easiest way to participate is look up a local church that participates at a shelter and sign up for a day. They'll be more than happy to have a visitor along for the ride.  Or you can contact a soup kitchen/shelter directly and they might point you to a church to go with.   You can also bring food once or twice first and drop it off at the church to get a feel for the people who are volunteering (just call first to see what they need, a dessert, a main dish etc.) 

Peace and Blessings to you!

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2008 - 7:17PM #6
ether_buny
Posts: 32
[QUOTE=Emmanuelle110;313333]I'm trying to find out where soup kitchens are located in my area because I've always wanted to help out at one but I don't know what to expect.  I just wanted to know if anyone's ever volunteered at a soup kitchen and if so, what was it like?[/QUOTE]
Survivors and the hard bitten, downtrodden and lowly aren't experts either. That would be bigotry, discrimination or playing favorites which isn't very Christian or charitable in accordance with the goal or task at hand. The well off and those that have lived a priviledged or perfect life aren't experts either. Giving money or material possessions to charity may be all some can accomplish. Giving of yourself, your time, effort, concern and energy is the better Christian thing to do. "There but for the grace of God go I" isn't a very charitable or helpful attitude especially when someone else is the victim.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2008 - 8:28PM #7
ether_buny
Posts: 32
[QUOTE=Emmanuelle110;313333]I'm trying to find out where soup kitchens are located in my area because I've always wanted to help out at one but I don't know what to expect.  I just wanted to know if anyone's ever volunteered at a soup kitchen and if so, what was it like?[/QUOTE]
Compassion, sympathy and mercy goes further towards creating peace in the world than unfounded and misguided pity and emotionality.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2008 - 8:28PM #8
ether_buny
Posts: 32
[QUOTE=Emmanuelle110;313333]I'm trying to find out where soup kitchens are located in my area because I've always wanted to help out at one but I don't know what to expect.  I just wanted to know if anyone's ever volunteered at a soup kitchen and if so, what was it like?[/QUOTE]
Compassion, sympathy and mercy goes further towards creating peace in the world than unfounded and misguided pity and emotionality.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2008 - 4:15PM #9
ether_buny
Posts: 32
[QUOTE=Paladin4God;336347]to expand on sydneymoon,

you get to share Christ with others, to listen to their problems, and to share Hope with them. It's a wonderful thing to share the message. I've always gotten goosebumps when I speak of my Lord to others, and I get the satisfaction of helping a brother or a sister in Chist. . . because we all are our brother's keeper.[/QUOTE]
It is a dirty job but someone has to do it. Could be better could be worse. It's better than the alternative? What's old is new again. Options, freewill, choice isn't such a bad idea after all.
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6 years ago  ::  May 14, 2008 - 11:30PM #10
freeindeed789
Posts: 47
I have been observing that there are hungry people everywhere. Due to the serious homeless population growth, you can find people who would love a meal everywhere. The train stations, on the sidewalks, bus teminals. If you look around, you may see the same faces over and over. I find, that packing an extra baggy lunch for someone in need, is very fullfilling to my spirit. 'There, but for the grace of God, go I''.
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