Being flexible

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Hello!  I’m Matt G, the other Matt at the Food Hamper Program.  I have been working as the Emergency Food Hamper Program’s volunteer coordinator for the past three years.  One of the things I’ve learned most over the past few years is what it means to be flexible.  The Emergency Food Hamper Program is a unique place.  We are affected by so many varying factors such as how much food we will get in, when that food will arrive, and how many people will come in for emergency assistance.  We never know what will show up on our door step, and when.

807 Guelph Street is an ever-changing environment and the needs of our program are constantly changing.  For this reason, I am so grateful to the many volunteers who all seem to have this same characteristic of being flexible.

We have so many great volunteers who are able to adapt to any and every situation and who are willing to do whatever is most needed of them at a given moment.  They show up and ask us, “what do you need me to do now?”  As needs change, they are willing to change too.  They walk through our door with a lot of enthusiasm about doing whatever they can to make others feel maybe just a little bit better.  And they most assuredly do!  Sometimes the result of what we are doing at the Emergency Food Hamper Program gets lost in the day-to-day chaos that is our operations. It is easy to think of our work in terms of how many boxes of lettuce we need to move from one end of the warehouse to another, or how much yogurt we need to distribute to make space for the shipment of mushrooms that we know will show up the following morning.

The reality is, however, that many individuals and families are being helped each day, and this is a result of the willingness of an amazing crew of volunteers who are not so much concerned about what they are doing themselves, but what we are doing together.  Whether it is packing hampers, stocking shelves, sorting through mountains of donated clothing, or even sweeping the floor, all these things are very important and make it possible for us to continue to do what we are doing.

Volunteer Sherry works at making a dent in the bin full of potatoes

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.  ~Oscar Wilde

Everybody can be great.  Because anybody can serve.  You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.  You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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