Thursday, December 24, 2015

Feelin' the Bern Christmas Eve

Thanks to my good friend, Kiala Hodges, my family and I got to "feel the Bern" along with a dose of Christmas spirit tonight. She organized a event through South Hampton Roads for Bernie to help Park Place United Methodist Church feed the hungry and homeless. We wanted Bernie's volunteers to reach out to and meet others in the community. We didn't talk politics at all unless others brought it up, but we all wore our Bernie shirts, campaign buttons or stickers, and warm smiles.

Don, Matthew and I at the clothes closet

We arrived at 4:00, but dinner wasn't served until 6:30. Luckily, Anna, a volunteer there, knew just how to put us to work. We started by filling up the clothes closet. The church collects clothes to donate to anyone who wants them. People walk in and walk out with whatever they want or need. Some of the shelves were getting low, so we filled them right up!

Anna feels the Bern, by the way. A fast food employee, she is well aware of Bernie's support for a $15 minimum wage because a co-worker got a $15 tip with the related message from a customer.

Wrapping sausage sandwiches "to go"

Next we wrapped up sausage sandwiches to send home with people who need food but lack kitchens to cook in. Another area of the church has a regular food pantry for those who can cook at home.

Working in the upstairs kitchen
 Next we helped "Mr. Fred" in the upstairs kitchen to make the gravy, stir some food, and clean up a little.

Getting ready to serve the meal. Don't those desserts look good?

Time flew, and next thing we knew, service was over and the lines started at the Christmas buffet. We served chicken, ham, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, a variety of vegetables, rolls with butter, a choice of two desserts, and drinks. Anna told us our arrival was a blessing from God, because without us they'd have been sorely short-handed on the buffet line. The seven volunteers we brought were just what was needed and at just the right time.

A few people asked about Bernie and gave us a chance to talk up our favorite presidential candidate. We know Bernie would approve of our efforts to build up our region and community, bring people together, and help those most in need. We recommend other Bernie grassroots groups give community service and outreach efforts a try, not only during the holidays but all year long, whether Bernie gets elected or not. It's fun, and it's the right thing to do.

As for my family, I suspect I know where we'll be next Christmas Eve.