Take a step toward healing by helping the most needy
I support peaceful protesters. I would like to suggest an actionable idea that might be helpful toward healing. A few months ago, my family began volunteering at Shepherd’s
Way Relief Center, a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to “eliminate hunger in the Richmond ... area by providing persons in need with food, promote, basic necessities and to instill hope.” We have returned weekly to help prepare and serve meals, hand out toiletries and clean. In that short time, I have had the pleasure of meeting and greeting guests. Further, working with the core volunteer staff who tend to the daily needs of the guests has been inspiring. I was surprised to hear that a few of these staff members once were guests who now are “paying it forward.” I also have worked closely with a police officer who serves coffee to the guests. On rare occasion, she will step in to calm a potentially tense situation. It’s been a short time for me, but I do sincerely feel these heroes are becoming friends — friends I never would have had if I hadn’t taken time to be of service. Perhaps, if we had more community interaction like this in the neediest communities, we could play a small part in healing our sins. The guests and staff regularly thank me. Truth be told, I should pay them for letting me help.
The broader point is go out, volunteer, meet and get to know someone needier than you. You will learn something. I know they will appreciate it. Most importantly, it’s not a one-time event — it’s a lifetime commitment.