Friday, June 4, 2010

June House Blog - Cleveland

This past winter we had a tikkun olam event involving volunteering at the Cleveland Food Bank. Our job was to sort donated food into different categories so that it could be further distributed to individuals, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other organizations. We expected to have around 15 MH people attend. A few hours before the event which was set to take place in the late afternoon, the sky turned dark and stormy. There was then a large thunderstorm, followed by hail, and later snow. The driving conditions were especially bad in the area surrounding the food bank because it is located in an impoverished area of the city, and the roads in the surrounding neighborhood are poorly maintained. As the calls, text messages, and emails started to come in from MH participants canceling because the roads were too slick and they were hesitant to drive, it seemed to me that no one would come to the event at all. We considered canceling the event, but decided that we had already made a commitment to the food bank to volunteer. Moishe House residents were the only people from our MH group in attendance for the first 45 minutes of the 2 hour event. Eventually, other people started to trickle in, saying that the treacherous roads added up to an hour to their commute to the food bank. I was grateful that people came out and that not everyone was deterred by the driving conditions. Although supervising volunteers at the food bank seemed annoyed that we had people from our group show up a half hour before the end of the event, I thought it showed real dedication.

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