If you’re ever at Gateway, you’re likely to notice a pack of folks roaming around doing all kinds of activities. They could be cleaning mats or painting walls. Maybe you see some women washing feet or doctors helping someone try on a new pair of eyeglasses. These are volunteers who frequent Gateway, and they add much to the spirit and mission of what we are collectively accomplishing.
Not too long ago we had a group of students from Holy Innocent’s Episcopal School. There was a whole pack of 4th graders, which we all know is one of the most prime and splendid ages in all of life. After spending several quality hours helping us out, they went back to the quiet of their classroom to reflect on the adventure they had. Here are some of the highlights from those reflections.
William: “My groups 2nd station was arts and crafts and there was a boy names Charles who really liked sticky cupcakes and he really like Ethan, Marshall and I. The third station was sorting and folding clothes it was amazing how much difference mens and womens coats were like… My favorite job was the arts and crafts. The reason because I like art. Secondly playing with little kids. Lastly it was fun.”
When commenting on what he learned, William said, “..homeless people are quite caring people.”
Elizabeth, another classmate, weighs in: “First we got off the bus and we met a lady named Mrs. Bec. She was very nice. When we all got seated in their little chapel Mrs. Bec talked us about poor people and then for about 15 minutes a very nice guy named Demitreus talked to us about how he became homeless. He became homeless by making bad decisions… My favorite job there was the art room. I liked the art room because you got to play games and make valentines with the little kids. I helped Maddie finish making a bracelet and gave it to a little girl named Fire. Voulentering at the Gateway center made me feel good. I met a very nice lady in the art room her name was Mary. I learned about Mary’s life and it made me feel sad. I learned that poor people are just like us but sometimes their lives are very different. It made me feel nice because at the end before we left Mary gave me a very big hug.”
And finally, the thoughts of Maddie: “The job I liked best was scrubbing the sleeping mats. Abbie, William and I were great scrubbing partners and we cleaned many mats. It is very important that people have a clean place to sleep because their bodies may get sick. Volunteering made me feel empathetic of homeless people. Being able to do something to help was amazing I really want to go back to volunteer again. Helping entertain kids was very fun and to know I was doing a favor for someone in need made me smile.”
So there you have it folks. If there was ever a great endorsement for getting involved with Gateway, then this is it. As this post illustrates, there are many ways to be a part of what’s going on, for kids ages 2 to 102. You clean mats, you can make bracelets, you can donate much needed supplies, or you can make a monetary donation. We welcome it all! Thanks so much to the kids from Holy Innocents for sharing their stories and for making such great examples!