One of my goals for the year was to get involved in giving back to the community. I have always felt compassion for the homeless and impoverished. When I taught in LA county, my heart broke for students living in poverty, not knowing if they would have food to eat at home. Austin has a large homeless and transitioning population and, moving here, I knew I wanted to get involved in serving that population.
Our church, Lake Hills, partners with Mobile Loaves and Fishes to send out trucks providing food, clothing and personal items with dignity to the homeless and impoverished around the area. My husband and I did training for it early this year and our trip out on the truck was eye-opening and made serving more important to us. Once a month, we spend 1-2 hours preparing sandwiches and prepping the trucks with donated food and clothing.
Last week, a few members of our life group met to serve and it was an incredible experience. We visited a couple of places where the majority of those we served were children and elderly. We fed people who told us they had no food in their apartments and did not know when their next meal would be. I had flashbacks to my teaching days and recalled the conditions in which many of my students lived and how important giving them hope for a world beyond their was.
It is easy to take things for granted and that evening was a reminder of why taking a few hours out of my week to help others is so important.