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Saturday, September 11

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

It’s hard to explain how many highs and lows, how many big events and small special moments, can happen in just 90 minutes when we are out serving. Every Saturday the time flies by and I spend the rest of the week thinking about the conversations I had, the people I met, and how we can do better for our guests. This week was a rollercoaster but I left feeling more than ever that we are doing something that matters, and that we are getting better at it all the time.

Just like last week, we pulled up to our usual spot to find a person in distress. Just like last week, the person turned out to be a friend and regular guest. He had been visiting us for months, but in recent weeks he has been looking worse and worse each time, and wouldn’t stick around long to chat anymore. He was wearing a hospital band and laying against a tree, struggling to stay awake. Fortunately, volunteer Deidre is a doctor, so she and volunteer Gina (who spotted him in the first place and was the first to check on him) talked with him and realized paramedics were needed. So, as we were serving, Gina and Deidre called 911 and a fire truck soon arrived. The paramedics were amazing - kind, quick, and knowledgeable. They gave him Narcan to prevent him from overdosing and gave us some helpful advice on what to do in the future. I’m so grateful for their professionalism and their warmth. He came to quickly and spent a few minutes with us drinking water and eating some food, and then walked off.

While all that was going on, other volunteers were chatting up our regular guests and neighbors while serving the large crowd. We were also joined by Rodney Carr from the iCarre Foundation on North Avenue, who came out to see us in action and spent time talking with a number of our guests as well.

On a lighter note, a bus driver who had hopped off to grab a quick lunch from us before getting back to his route stopped me to ask if I had made the cornbread. I said yes, and he said, “It had flour in it! I had to get another piece!” I thought he was saying that I’d messed up the batch (and it was a pretty hectic morning so that wouldn’t surprise me) but he quickly corrected me. “No, no, I was trying to compliment you! Seeing flour in it means it’s not from a mix. It was so good I came back for more! I can’t believe you made it from scratch.” We had a good laugh together - clearly he doesn’t know about me and my 50 lb bag of cornmeal….

Stats: 50 chicken burrito bowls, 100+ bag lunches, 5 bunches of bananas, 60 clementines, 5 gallons mango iced tea, and 80 water bottles. We also had 100+ wellness kits with new socks, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and hand sanitizer.

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