The end is just the beginning

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So my ten-week contract at the Emergency Food Hamper Program expires today and, technically, I am supposed to write a “farewell article”. But I don’t see this as a farewell, but rather, I see the end as just the beginning.

First and foremost, I never liked goodbyes. I think the word has been misused by so many people. We shouldn’t say “goodbye” to anybody unless it’s on the day that we leave this world, because chances are, with modern technology, you are likely to see the other person again sometime in life. Thus, I prefer to say “see you all later” to everyone who works at the hamper program.

The past 10 weeks working at EFHP has been excitement, fulfillment, and a incredible learning process. I want to thank all of the staff members and volunteers from the bottom of my heart. I want to thank Matt C., Michele, Melissa, Raymond, Matt G., Nadir, Anton, Salvador, Allison and Lianna for all your help, friendship, work ethics, and warm personalities. I also want to thank all the volunteers for their rock-hard dedication and commitment to serving the community and making it a better place for all members; EFHP would be impossible without all the valuable hours that you put in.

When I walked into the lobby of EFHP on my first day, I wondered: how is this place going to change me? Ten weeks later, I found the answer. It changed me in a profound way that will affect the rest of my life. EFHP is not in the food business, it is in the people business. Food is just a vehicle that serves the people who need help. I remember seeing a young mom with three kids who had exhausted her yearly hamper quota and asked if she could get another hamper. I remember talking to an independent film director who was forced to work in a factory after his son, who runs a company with him together, left for a high paying job. I remember chatting with a UW graduate student who is working on a thesis about urban food production with his girlfriend. I remember taking the hamper order from a new immigrant Chinese family who has been in Waterloo for less than a month. I remember taking the order for a group of eight women who all have the birthday on January 1 (A lot of immigrants from African countries use “Jan. 1” as their birth date because they don’t keep track of birth dates in their home country). I remember talking to a woman and her two children in the lunch room who were desperately avoiding an abusive former family member. Lastly, I remember hope. Men and women of all walks, professions, races and backgrounds, all share one thing in common: they see hope. Hope to get another job, hope to survive in this new country, hope to feed their kids, and hope to go to school. They are inspiring. People who come to EFHP are those who find themselves in need of emergency food assistance, and yet, many of them somehow manage to smile each time at the reception desk.

Lastly, I want to thank all the staff members and volunteers at Emergency Food Hampers Program again. It has been a great pleasure working with all of you! See you all later!

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One Response to “The end is just the beginning”

  1. Melissa Brosowski Says:

    Wow Lucas I can’t believe you were only here for 10 weeks. Time really flew by, but that’s what happens when you’re having fun. You’ve been really fun to work with!! And I love that you didn’t set this as a “good bye” but a “see you all later” because all the staff and volunteers would love to see you pop in again for a visit soon!

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