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Respect

I volunteer at our ministry center on Fridays as a counselor.  People come to the ministry center food bank and while the volunteers are bagging their food they visit with me about their situation.  It is pretty clear that many of these good people are embarrassed that they have to ask for food and I do my best to put them at ease.  I make sure to be a good listener and I always show them respect.  They are grateful for the food and I feel enriched by our conversations.

I remember when I was young and spending time in Berkley, California.  I had five dollars to my name which I kept in my shoe and I relied on charity to get by.  My first night in Berkeley I was offered a place to stay at a seminary and a bowl of clam chowder with some bread. I can remember how hungry I was and how good the chowder tasted.  I will always have a soft spot in my heart for that seminary and clam chowder.

In time my fortune changed.  I found a job and a place to stay.  It wasn't much but I felt so rich.  We frequently have people come to the food bank for the first time.  Something has happened in their lives and they could use some help.  I will never forget that I was once that guy who was hungry and was given something to eat.

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