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Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

Ms. G. sorts food donations at Solomon House.


Why do we do service work? I could probably go to the Bible and find some cool verses, such as “Love thy neighbor,” and “Whenever you do this for the least of these…” I’d like to be able to say that I do service work because the Bible tells me to, but that’s just not it. It’s the right thing to do. Yes, but that’s still not why. Someone once told me I had a heart for ministry. Not sure if that’s the reason either. What I am sure of, though, is every time I show up, I’m glad I did. My heart is filled with gladness and fulfillment.

Every Tuesday for the last five years, I have gone to Solomon House, a local food bank, a mission for my church, the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. I took over the job of greeting each client and having them sign on the list. The list is for data-collecting purposes, but, for me, it provides a way to get to know each person who comes through the line, by name. These people have become people I recognize, people I know, people I care about.

I have also met volunteers at Solomon House. Yesterday morning, I went to the Monday morning packing day. I went for two reasons: 1) to take pictures for our new Facebook Page, and 2) as Board president, I felt it was about time. I was put to work immediately by Ms. G. She knows the ropes as she has been volunteering for four years. Miss Tony was working next to me. I started talking to her about her involvement. As someone who is constantly on the lookout for new volunteers, I was curious about how she became involved. Basically, I was looking for a formula to emulate.

Soon I discovered that there was no magic formula that I could duplicate to get more volunteers. Miss Tony came to Solomon House to deliver some canned goods. She simply asked the question, “Can I help in any way?” And of course, you know the answer.

Tony is a cancer survivor. She told me that God has always been in her life, but she never really took notice. She said she wasn’t really listening. Until she needed Him. “Cancer halted my life,” she said, “I turned to Him, and He worked wonders. I know it could’ve been worse for me. He’s been talking, and now I am listening.”

Now, Tony wants to put her hands into everything. She volunteers twice a week at Solomon House. She serves at St. Francis Diner. She is giving back. She does not want recognition or praise. She did not even let me take her picture. She says, “I am doing this for God.”

I don’t need a Bible verse to tell me to do service. I only need to talk to the people in the trenches, the needy and the volunteers. They are here to show me God’s love in a very real way.

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