Last Wednesday I did some volunteer work for my church. Every third Wednesday of the month my church serves breakfast at the Oasis Social Ministry kitchen in Portsmouth. The ministry is run by the Catholic church and serves breakfast and lunch during the week. I reported for work at 6 am not knowing what to expect as I had never done this kind of volunteer work before. Breakfast is provided daily for about 75 – 130 homeless people. About 8 members from my church showed up to help prepare and serve the breakfast. I was amazed by the size of the kitchen, dining room, and the stockpile of food in the pantry. There was a very large walk-in refrigerator, walls of canned and dry goods, etc., there must have been enough food in the pantry to feed 1000 people. Anyway, my job basically involved helping prepare the food, serve orange juice during the meal, and help with the cleanup.
The menu for the morning consisted of biscuits with sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, doughnuts, coffee, and orange juice. Once people started coming in it was fast and furious. For the most part everyone was very nice although you could tell some of the people either didn’t appreciate what was being done for them or thought they deserved to be fed by people who volunteered their time during a work day to come down at the break of dawn and prepare a meal for them. It was nice to know that either appreciated or not, our efforts at least gave 75 souls a good breakfast that morning. I plan on helping out every Wednesday when it is our turn. I try to help out in other ways for our church but this was one of the most rewarding things I have done in a long time.