At the beginning of the month I told you a little bit about the church group that came in to volunteer for the week. They did an amazing job and we were very happy to have them. It was a pleasure to work with such energetic, friendly, and kind-hearted individuals.
The rest of this post was written by one the groups organizer, Alyssa Harrington, about her experience and thoughts about their time here and some of the pictures she took over the week.
Thank you Alyssa and to everyone of the Douglas Baptist church and St. John’s Anglican church who came to volunteer.
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Four Days of Service and Learning
By: Alyssa Harrington
Every day many of us wander through our daily lives knowing we have all we need, yet we want more. We desire to wrap our fingers around the latest technology, while there are those around us who search franticly for their next meal. The Greener Village – Community Food Centre provides approximately 2,500 people with a weeks’ worth of food, but they do so much more. Along with two church groups, I had a chance to take a closer look into what they really do in the four days we were there. Douglas Baptist church and St. John’s Anglican church each sent the groups of kids with leaders to work on landscaping and planting for the new community centre. I am doing Summer Ministry at Douglas Baptist church, and we gathered some children, youth and adults to join in with a program we called Service Camp. It’s a camp we were running to help the students and others understand why they should work hard to make a difference in the community. We wanted the kids to know that no matter what you do there is an impact to be made anywhere and everywhere you are: all you have to do is try.
You don’t have to go on a mission trip halfway across the world to change a life; you can wander over next door and start changing lives one person at a time. Sometimes we forget these things and think that since we live in Fredericton there’s nothing we can do or we’re too young to help, but this group of varying age proved that age doesn’t matter when you’re helping those in need. Within one week we could see that with every rock, tree, dirt, and brush we removed from the small plot of property we were assigned to work, we were making change. Later we learned that this plot would be used to help those who needed food by providing them with home-grown vegetation and to teach them how to get their hands dirty in the garden. We didn’t know all the amazing things they were doing until we took a tour on our final day there. The summer student, Briana, there took us all around and proudly showed us how they stock their shelves, divide the foods into baskets and give people a sense of independence.
I’d always been under the impression that the food bank was just a place where you could go to get food. I never realized their clientele could only receive food once a month that would only last about a week, depending on family size. We learned the heart breaking story that they can only give this much food because they just don’t have enough to go around more than once a month. The thing is, they do more than just provide food; they give people clothing, shoes, cooking lessons and a sense that someone still cares about them when all seems lost. We spent four mornings there helping, but there are many volunteers that come in every day and without them the community centre would not be able to function. We were there for a short amount of time and did a lot of good, but the people who are there every day don’t only do a lot of good, but remind us every day never take anything we have for granted.
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