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Inspiring Volunteer Perspectives

The impact of the volunteers never stops at the few hours of work they do, their impact has no boundaries. They inspire many more, and enable the growth of tomorrow’s volunteers, making volunteerism eternal. They help people see new perspectives and encourage others to make a difference in their own unique ways by putting their faith in action and serving others.

In an effort to keep volunteerism viral, we are asking our volunteers to share their perspectives and experiences that they experienced during their volunteer work. We thank our volunteers for making a difference and sharing their inspiring experiences.


My Volunteer Experiences at the Caritas Soup Kitchen

by Johan Panicker

           It was a cold and icy day, one that most of us are happy to spend at home in front of the fireplace sipping a warm beverage.  But for the thousands of homeless people in the Austin area that is a fantasy, not a reality.  January 10, 2015 St. Gregorios Church Austin decided to help out some of these people at the Caritas Soup Kitchen in downtown Austin.  We pulled on hats and gloves and got to work early in the morning for the lunchtime meal.  The special was tacos; we cut, diced, and chopped our way through zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms, along with beans that was the filling for our tacos.  We had little kids all the way to elderly adults, everyone with an important role to play.  Our big cooking pot was broken, but giving up was not an option. We loaded everything onto trays to put in the oven to cook one by one. Finally, the food was ready and the doors about the open. We paused for a moment to say grace, and thank the Lord for giving us this opportunity to help out in the community.                                                             
       When the doors opened, the kitchen came alive. Tacos were being served onto trays, fresh ice tea being poured and even a little sweet treat to go along with the lunch.  More volunteers were ready with washcloths to bus the tables and prepare them for more people. But, through all the bustle, the homeless people that walked through that door never stopped being appreciative.  We were met with many many “thank you” and “God bless you”.  Many of them approached us saying how glad they were that we were there to help them and serve them.  Every race, age, and gender were present.  Though their bodies were hunched over from the cold, their spirits could not be dampened.  Through those few hours of work, we were able to bring happiness and joy to lots of people and help them to forget their pain, if only for a little bit.  The days of helping out at the soup kitchen are some of the most amazing and eye opening days I have. That is when I remember that more than our money or our food, what these people really need is our time and our love. 

                                             God bless,
                                                      Johan Panicker

“Assuredly I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me.”   

--Mathew 25:40

Making a Difference in Your Community:

Soup Kitchen at Caritas of Austin

                                                                            By: Sneha and Kripa

          Making a difference. What a strong phrase! Making a difference in the world is a great thing to do! Making a difference helps your community and world become a better place.

          “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” – Mother Teresa

        As our dad pulled into the parking lot outside Caritas of Austin, we could see a humongous line of less fortunate people. They all stood there, waiting patiently, and feeling hungry.  It was a moist, wet, chilly day, where the skies weren’t shining so bright, and the sun wasn’t up yet. We walked into Caritas, washed our hands, put on some gloves, and began working. We diced bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms. We washed pinto beans and prepared a meal for the people standing outside. There was happiness filling the room; we all felt great about providing food for the hungry people outside. Though we couldn’t serve the food, we were glad to help.

        Making a difference in the world can be hard. But, starting with small changes can make a huge difference in the future. Just making and providing food to people who were living in poverty helped us realize that making a difference helps you and the community you live in feel really good. Helping others is a great way of making a difference. Make a difference.


Giving Back Corner

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