Helping on the Holiday

It's Thanksgiving. But you probably already knew that. You never let me deliver the good news.

I "volunteered" today for an organization serving meals to the homeless in the park. I put the word in quotation marks because I don't really feel that I helped much. I was initially excited to participate, since this is the same park I used to eat my lunch in four years ago and had to actively avoid homeless people taking/eating my food, so finally being able to share food seemed like an important cycle to fulfill.

The problem with this holiday meal was that it was too well organized. I know that sounds like a funny complaint, but there were at least two volunteers for every diner, which was wholly unnecessary. When I give my time, I'd prefer to be useful to standing around awkwardly trying to find some way to assist. I'd honestly have felt better if the place was mismanaged and needed me to run around to make things happen.

Now I know that volunteering shouldn't be all about me and what I prefer. It shouldn't be about what made a better experience for me, but the homeless people, and I understand that. But when you have so many people there trying to be useful, it can be counterproductive. Take the clean-up process for example: it started an hour before it was supposed to just because of the eager workforce. Hundreds of people were steal eating their meals, but so many people wanted to be of use that any chair not being sat on was stacked and moved and any plate that looked done was snagged off the table. I helped in this process, despite feeling uncomfortable. We were taking these things from right beside people who were still eating, and I felt like I was being rude and rushing them, which wasn't really the intent, but definitely the end result. There was also a surplus of food left over, so they kept trying to get people to take more, all while making it seem like the feast was over.

Oh well, it just motivates me to volunteer again soon in a setting where I am not a nuisance.

In the meantime, enjoy the holiday with this amazing clip from Addams Family Values that the funny Lewis reminded me of.

Oh Christina Ricci. So creepy yet attractive in your youth.

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