Thursday, February 23, 2012

Soup Kitchen Cooks up Love

Russell and I attended the soup kitchen at St. Ladislas pictured above.  The soup kitchen is sponsored by the Church for All People located on Parsons Avenue in Columbus and it is a wonderful testimony to different congregations working together toward a common goal. 

As we entered the building it was clear that there was something good cooking there.  Jimi, resident chef, was fixing pulled roast beef and mashed potatoes for the crowd that was gathered.  Local volunteers adorned with hair nets were plentiful and cheerful.  Many of them come for the meal and stay on to help with set up and clean up.  The atmosphere was bright and folks welcomed us with open arms. 

During our short visit, we completed 11 applications for 7 people.  Four people  have a good chance to receive emergency food stamps because of our work.  Two of these were individuals living in tents near Greenlawn Cemetery.  Two other people we met did not have mailing addresses and could not complete their applications at this time.  We facilitated a connection between them and the Church for all People, where they may be allowed to use the church as a mailing address.  Unfortunately, in Columbus, if you don't have a direct connection to the homeless shelter or have some other personal resource for an address, it may be difficult to obtain benefits.  Russell and I left both gentlemen with information about how to contact The Ohio Benefit Bank and/or Job and Family Services directly once they find a home for their mail.  

As I look into the deeply lined faces, I recognize how fortunate I am.

One gentleman as we were leaving said, "I live pillar to post......and am richer than 1/3 of all people.  Those people don't have a penny.  At least I have two pennies to rub together."  He had bright blue eyes and an engaging smile.  It was clear that all the clothes he had were on his back.  I learned a valuable lesson about attitude that day. 

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