Opening Doors

“Doors will be opening in two minutes,” I heard the coordinator of Andre House announce as I anxiously waited at the serving line.

After cutting fruits and vegetables, setting up tables, and getting trays and plates ready, it was time to have the pleasure of feeding the less fortunate.

Andre House, in Phoenix, is not exactly a five-star diner, but to many it is just that. Andre House has been recognized since 1984 as a ministry to the hopeless and poor population. They feed as many lives as possible that do not have the luxury of receiving at least one meal a day. It is composed of four rooms the kitchen, the serving area, the family room, and the dining room. The kitchen was set up like a typical restaurant kitchen, while the serving area had a buffet type scenery. The family room consisted of tables and chairs for the capacity of about 25 people. A widely opened area had a combination of chairs, tables, and a couple of book shelves to craft the dining room.

Clicking and clacking of knives slapping on cutting boards echoed the family room. The first couple of hours of my first visit at Andre House were spent cutting peppers, peeling potatoes, and chopping lettuce. A couple of photos were snapped by my interact leader to capture the memories of preparing to feed the homeless.
While the more mature experienced volunteers were acting as iron chefs and cooking the main course, the remaining volunteers from my interact club and other organizations arranged the dining den for our guests. The savory smell of spiced potatoes and meat quickly replenished the dining sanctuary. The time had come where it was time to serve a homemade dinner. I had the honor of being able to serve our guest and make one-on-one connections as some patiently and others impatiently waited for their meal. Many “thank yous” and “God bless yous” were presented to me as for many did not exactly express their gratefulness. Though it was not expressed, I did not judge. I could not blame these individuals for not giving thanks, because I do not know what hardships they were undergoing or trying to overcome. I knew that deep down that they had knowledge of the good being displayed towards then and were thankful.

Time was soaring by as I served the last of the fruit salad. Multiple faces I seen twice, even three times to get extra helping, and each face I seen stride by opened my eyes to see how lucky and fortunate I am to have a roof over my head and to be granted a meal each day.

During the cleaning period, an older man approached me seeking a conversation. At first I felt puzzled not knowing what to say. He started off with asking questions, and I answered them with a shy voice. Then he brought up the topic of basketball, and I quickly became interested and felt more comfortable about holding a conversation with him. I realized, I myself, shared common interest and opinions with this gentleman. This proving and individuals who are in need are no different than any other human being.

Closing time approached, I felt relieved in doing well towards my community. Helping my community granted me with a smile and warm feeling. It was nice to see that many people of my community were kind-hearted and willing to lend a hand.

Unfortunately, in this over populated world there are those who do not have the gift of sleeping and waking up in a house to a family, or being guaranteed a meal in front of them every day. On my expedition back home, I thought about how being a part of Interact and having the chance to help at Andre House had made me more appreciative with the small things I have in life. I now am willing to step in and help give the little things that can assure a huge impact in one’s life.

I hope one day again I will experience the words, “doors will be opening in two minutes.”





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