Aide at André’s

“I didn’t sign up though,” I told my friend, Kat, who was trying to convince me to accompany her to help at the shelter. “Don’t worry I’m sure there is someone who couldn’t make it and you can take their place”, she said, in the end finally convincing me to go. I had only signed up for Interact a week earlier, when I heard about the service club from my English teacher.

Sure enough as my friend had said, one person could not make it and I was able to come along. We boarded a miniature white school bus and made our way to Andre House in downtown Phoenix. As we got closer to the towering buildings, I was filled with even more curiosity to how it would be, when we took a left turn into a quiet neighborhood. Closer and closer we got to our destination when I saw fenced areas of space and people sitting on the sidewalk trying to shield their eyes from the overbearing sun with a shirt or hat. Walking in we were greeted by another volunteer and took a gander of the place; then we were taken to wash our hands and get started.

We began by chopping, mincing, and mixing all the ingredients. There were a variety of fruits and vegetables which seemed to paint a rainbow through the room; from the red bell peppers to the purple potatoes (yes, that’s right purple potatoes). While we worked we chatted with the other volunteers there. They were quite inspiring seeing that some had been volunteers most of their life and were still giving back to their community. Right before serving, we all gathered into the family dining area to give a prayer of hope and thankfulness and then we were off.

I had been assigned water and ice with two other people. We were stationed at a corner of the dining room with two large brown tables with cups, four large coolers filled with water, and ice. We began by filling as many cups as possible, filling up our whole table. Soon it was serving time and people began to flow in heading straight towards us as I smiled and offered the cups of cold water. We were suddenly being showered by thank yous.

I then realized how a meal brings everyone together and how fortunate I was to have a place to call home. One could look around and there was no difference, it was like any gathering, where everyone sat down and conversed with their friends as if back at the school cafeteria. This was the time were they could forget a bit about their problems and enjoy a warm meal with their companions.

After going to Andre House for the first time I knew I would sign up every time possible, for the rest of the year me and my friend went practically every time.





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