A Personal Sacrifice By:Giana Penney

It was pouring buckets, causing the car to swerve as my friend Rebecca and I were driving down to the food pantry in Manville. The rain pounded the windshield, so Rebecca’s dad could barely see the direction he was driving. We prepared for a long, tiring day as we set up at the food pantry. When we arrived at the food pantry we were told to gather all the bread from the back room. We prepared the tables, and laid out the food and additional items that we were distributing. We had a variety of food ranging from simple snacks to breakfast and desserts. Volunteers generously took time out of their day to distribute the food. The anxious crowd of people were allowed in at 9am, so we only had an hour to prepare. I passed out food at the dessert station, while Rebecca worked at the bread station. It was time to let all the people in and we opened the doors genuinely.

It was about 2 hours into our day, and Rebecca and I were called into the back room to make lunches for the homeless. The managers of the genesis project recently became aware of a severe situation: homeless people going hungry. Therefore, they decided to gather a group of people to make lunches and distribute them in Woonsocket. The lunches consist of a sandwich, a fruit, a bottled water, and a snack. The homeless people stay under a huge bridge with a lot of wooden benches. In the car we were discussing how many lunches each person was going to receive. We decided to give one bag to everyone. It was heartbreaking to see all the homeless people sitting under the bridge as they were drenched. Many people came to us asking if they could have a lunch and some clothes. When they received their bag they would walk away with a huge smile on their face. This made me very happy knowing that I made someone's day by sacrificing my time and clothes.

Providing the homeless woth food and clothes, was an awesome expierience for me. Seeing them walk away with a smile was thrilling to see.

All of a sudden the rush of people slowed down and everyone had their lunches under the bridge. When we turned around we saw two women walking towards us. One already had a bagged lunch and the other was coming to get one. We gave her food and then told her that she could go get clothes over at the other car if she wanted. Before she left our car, she said to Rebecca and I,

“You two are such nice girls. It was very nice of you to come down here and provide us with all these goods.”

We said thank you and she went and enjoyed her food under the bridge with the others. A couple minutes later she came back. She saw that we had extra lunches and proceeded to say,

“I have a son that is 15 years old. Unfortunately he will not come down here to get a lunch because he suffers with very severe depression and he gets bullied at school. Is there any way I could make his day by bringing him a lunch and some clothes, I would really appreciate it.”

We looked at her and said

“Of course you can, take whatever pleases you.”

We also told the woman that we would be more than willing to assist her with anything else that her or her family may need. After hearing this, she was almost in tears. I was overwhelmed with an immense amount of happiness and relief knowing that I did not just help many homeless people but I also made them thrilled. Sacrificing your time in order to help other people leads us to bigger and better rewards in life.

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