Saturday February 4, 2017
Even though we knew it would make our Saturday a very busy day, my sister and I signed up to volunteer for an hour at Hiway Zehrs for The House of Friendship Potato Blitz. My husband hearing our last-minute scramble at the door, jumped on the bandwagon and decided he would bring our two youngest sons along.
We arrived a few minutes early for our shift and with a quick exchange of stickers, buttons, signs and instructions, we joined Lynda, our team captain, at the entrance to the store.
We divided into two teams, three adults at the entrance while the two boys and I stood by the exit. As we smiled and greeted people with a quick explanation of why we there, people started to smile and nod. Even those who were in a rush smiled at us and dropped coins in our donation bucket. At the exit the boys and I collected the bags of potatoes people had purchased to donate. We wished everyone, even those who did not donate, a good weekend
We were amazed by the generosity of our community and the encouragement we received from complete strangers. People who knew about the House of Friendship and the work they do in the community were especially generous. One gentleman in a scooter, who donated potatoes and change, shared a story with us of how he used to go out on cold days to find the homeless and bring them to the shelter. Then he reached into his scooter basket, pulled out another bag full of soap and shampoo, “Make sure they get this too”, he said with a smile and wave before he left.
Soon after, our shift ended. The whole hour seemed like a mere fifteen minutes. We left with the same quick exchange of stickers, buttons, and signs. We also thanked Lynda for taking the entire day to be there keeping everyone on our team organized, and for being a ray of sunshine by smiling and encouraging all the volunteers.
Over coffee a few days later, my husband and I reflected together on the experience. People’s skepticism when we first approached them, the power of a quick explanation, people’s generosity, and how good we felt to be out doing something that makes a difference for those in need in our Community.