The middle school boys and girls groups spent a rewarding afternoon volunteering at New York City Rescue Mission. We learned that they provide food, shelter and other services to the homeless and hungry. We were fortunate to be able to help with some of these things. When we arrived at NYC Rescue Mission, we were greeted by two men who currently reside there because they are homeless. They have both been living at NYC Rescue Mission as well as working there. We split up into two groups and each group had a different job. Group members showed flexibility about which group they were in and which job they would do.
One group worked in the clothing closet, where they collect, organize and give away men and women’s clothing that has been donated. The group had the job of folding clothing that had been donated and organizing them based on the type of clothing, gender and size. The boys and girls took this job seriously and worked extremely hard. Some of the group folded and then handed the clothes to the other group members who placed them on the shelves. While working, the boys and girls socialized and started to get to know each other. They spoke about school and their upcoming spring break plans. They also had to communicate while folding and sorting the clothing.
The other group helped out in the kitchen. They worked together as a team to create an assembly line where they put together cups, forks and napkins. They discussed the most efficient way to make as many cups as possible. The group made over 200 cups, which helped decrease the amount of time people had to wait to receive their meal. They also helped unload some of the new shipments of canned goods and helped organize the pantry. The group was unable to serve dinner because we were there in the afternoon. Some of the group members were disappointed about this, but they were extremely proud of the work they had done.
After both groups finished their jobs, everyone had lunch. The group was able to eat the lunch they brought or had the option to try the food that was being served in the kitchen. Some of the group members tried the food and enjoyed it. While we were eating, the two men shared their stories as well as provided us with information about NYC Rescue Mission. In addition to providing food, shelter and clothing, they also have a career and learning center, a place where they can pray, as well as a medical clinic and social services. Group members felt proud to be able to give back to the community and learned a great deal of information about NYC Rescue Mission. It was an extremely rewarding day and we are looking forward to doing more Community Service outings in the future.