Aggie, as she is affectionately known around the kitchen of Hartford Rescue Mission, has been volunteering her time, resources and love for people by preparing and serving the evening meal for more than two years. HRM Executive Director Gregg Woods cornered Aggie between tossing salads to learn what motivates her to give to others.
I got involved at the Mission after receiving their Easter mailing in 2007, which stated that people who were suffering from loneliness, depression and despair were welcomed at the Mission to receive food and clothing, and to be comforted by the Word of God. I dropped by one afternoon and met Rev. Woods and two volunteers who were preparing that evening’s meal; I offered to help and have been here ever since.
Since I have few talents in the kitchen, I was placed on salad duty and I’m known now as “the salad expert.” I enjoy meeting the many volunteers who come from the community, colleges, businesses, churches and other places, and the joy that we all find in serving at the Mission. I marvel at the quality of the meals that we provide to our guests and the willingness of our guests to engage in conversation with us.
Many guests have impacted me. Jose needs a kidney transplant and comes regularly after his tiring dialysis sessions for a meal. A single mother brings her children for a nutritious meal and to do their school work. Fred is staying sober and taking adult education classes for his GED and struggling with math class. They inspire me because they do so much with what they have.
It is easy to send a donation to a charity, or to drop a bag of clothes in a collection bin and feel good about yourself. But that feeling can’t compare to how you feel when you personally help someone find a sweater that fits, or have someone thank you for serving them, or give you a compliment on the salad you made. Volunteering helps you live out the words of Jesus: Whatsoever you do in the name of My Father, that you do unto Me. Come join us!