Thursday, May 21, 2009

Three Cups of Tea

This month our small, literature based co-op read the young reader's version of Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.

We decided we wanted to do a service project as our activity for our day together so we worked at a homeless shelter in Flint.

We were divided into groups and assigned different areas to work. I went with Julianne and two of the other kids to clean upstairs.

Julianne and her friend Molly cleaned out the cleaning closet. The girls emptied the room first, then started cleaning. Julianne spent quite a bit of time scrubbing the deep sink and when she was finished, wondered aloud if it had made any difference. Molly wiped down the shelves, then wiped the walls as high as she could reach.

I helped one of the guys clean out the linen storage closet/room. Poor Chris was stuck working with all girls but he worked really hard and didn't quit or complain. He emptied the room by himself while the man from the shelter talked to me, then he rolled up 15-20 sleeping bags and folded linens.

I wiped down the shelves in the linen room but I had a hard time reaching the high shelves. I moved on to wiping the stair railings while Chris finished the linen room.

Julianne wiped the walls a little higher than Molly was able to, then worked on vacuuming the room.

The kids vacuumed the hallways after they finished the rooms we cleaned. By then, it was time for lunch so after we ate, we joined the rest of the group to sort clothing.

Allison was part of this group. They emptied bags of clothing, sorted it by size, then placed it in the appropriate area in the clothing room. This table was empty when they quit for the day.

It was hot, smelly work but working with friends made it enjoyable.
As we cleaned and sorted, we realized that there is a terrible lack of undergarments and socks available to the needy. We've been brainstorming ways that we can help with that problem. Julianne spoke with our youth pastor about organizing a sock/underwear drive at our church and we're still thinking about other ideas.
These are basics that I take for granted and it was eye-opening to see the complete absence of these items as we sorted clothes. I know I have passed by great deals on these things in the past because they weren't the sizes my family needs. As my budget allows, I won't be passing them by again.
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  1. That is a difficult but special trip. It really helps to see how much we have to be thankful for.

  2. I know the people will appreciate your serving them! Thanks for sharing your time! Mt husband read this book right after Christmas and he had been looking at it at the bookstore!

  3. You are awesome. I am sure the people you are helping are very thankful.


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me!