Good Shepherd Blog

The Gift: Volunteering at Good Shepherd Ministries

Two years ago, I was offered the opportunity to help out at Good Shepherd’s Boxing Day Meal. I jumped at the chance to help those “less fortunate.”

I enlisted my eldest son Liam, aged 13. I thought “This is a great way for my son to develop empathy and have a firsthand experience with people who come from a place of poverty and mental illness.” But it was me who was to undergo a transformative experience, from my initial perception of being the “giver” to the insight that I was just as much the “receiver.”

We entered the Chapel to register. We were asked to write up a name tag (no nameless volunteers here!). We donned our hairnets and aprons and prepared to serve mashed potatoes and bread rolls as the “clients” arrived for the meal.

Anticipation and excitement filled the air as the time to open the doors approached. Brother David offered a simple Grace: blessings on the volunteers, supporters, and on the clients about to come through the doors.

In the next two hours, we served more than 1,100 meals. The clients were a colourful group. Again, and again, I heard the word “Thank you.” There was such a sense of gratitude amongst all assembled. As we hung up our aprons, Good Shepherd’s generosity extended to the team of 70 volunteers. We were invited to have our own Thanksgiving Dinner.

My sons and I have since volunteered at other meals and events for Good Shepherd. Every time, we experience an organization the “talks the talk, and walks the walk.”

I count myself so very lucky to have the opportunity to bask in such a wonderful energy. Kindness and Goodness prevail. Amen!


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