Support, Relationships, and Balance
During my typical work day, I start by getting the pantry set up and opening at 8:45am. I’ll check clients in and fill orders until 11 when the pantry closes and I’ll switch gears to getting the soup kitchen window ready. From 11:30-1pm, volunteers serve at the soup kitchen and I float around doing dishes, putting away produce, restocking, and doing whatever needs to be done. Then I help close the lunch window and take my own lunch break. At 2pm, I work in the Assumption Parish office–I’m getting really good at data entry! I return to the soup kitchen at 3:30 to prepare for the supper window from 4-4:45pm. I serve at the supper window every weekday with some awesome volunteers! After that, I clean and lock-up the pantry and soup kitchen; a good day’s work!
I think one high is definitely the support and relationships I gain from serving and living in community. Living with seven other people and working at my service site challenges me to grow, but I know this challenge is given in a supportive environment with love. It’s not always easy, but I know these people are here for me through it all. I’m so incredibly grateful for the relationships I have with others–it’s the people that make service and community so wonderful.
As for the lows, I think one challenge I have is finding balance with service, community, and my own needs. While it is true that my service site and my community supports me, I also give a lot to both these areas (I’m very much a 110% person). After a long week of serving and helping my housemates, I’m tuckered out. Sometimes I need an “introvert recharge” to do my own thing. But, if I’m being honest with myself, balance has always been a challenge for me. This year of service reminds me that service and community are so life-giving, but so is self-care to maintain my giving.
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