It was a sunny evening on a summer Sunday near Long Beach. A group of us came together near a shelter around 4.30pm where we going to serve food to the underprivileged. We were all prepared for 200 people who were expected to dine in an hour. We were serving bean-salad, pasta, bread, fruit-salad and drinks. People were all settled and volunteers began taking the food to them at 6pm sharp. The process continued for 20 minutes where all were served with all their hearts and hunger desired. Preparation of food took efforts from 20 vounteers. The experience was unique but what mattered the most was the smile and peacefulness with which all completed the dinner.

One of the touching moments I felt was the calmness with which these homeless interacted with the volunteers. There was no level of anxiety or discomfort seen on their face while the serving process was going on. I was observing this process from inside the kitchen. I saw a person who stood up for requesting a refill. For more than 5 mins he was standing patiently as volunteers were serving the others. But determined to get the refill, he waited and with a smile took the refill when the next volunteer came over to him.

The whole event was great as volunteers of TCCOP and of Share-a-smile collaborated successfully. Both the groups were happy with the overall participation which served the common goal of serving the community with love and compassion.

Pritesh V. (Southern California Volunteer)

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