Wednesday, October 31, 2012
This is my third week of volunteering at a local food pantry that is literally just around the corner from me. I answer phones, make appointments, and make reminder calls to those who have appointments coming up. I'm still in the learning stage. I haven't worked with the same people twice and I am learning a little bit from each person. Everyone has their own way of doing things and I'm sure that soon I will have my own.
Doing this kind of volunteering is an eye-opening reminder of how people in general can be. There are the people that are embarrassed to be asking for help. These people are grateful for whatever help they can get. These people will be the first to help others whenever they can.
Then there's the people that get angry because you can't get them in for awhile. There are so many people in Michigan who are out of work and in need of help that the first available appointments we have are in the middle of January. We try to explain to them that they can call in every day to see if there has been any cancellations. Some listen and do that; others just hang up on us. It's disheartening to try to help and know that I'm not getting anywhere.
The people that amaze me are the ones that call in and expect to be given all sorts of help at the drop of a bucket. These people know that they haven't paid their rent/mortgage/utilities for months and expect us to direct them to agencies that will come up with the money by the end of the week. Some of these people have a list of things they want help with. What were they doing to help themselves as they were getting to this point? Granted, there are people out there that have had some really bad luck and bad things happen to them, but as a whole, these people don't impress me as being resourceful or actively seeking to improve themselves.
Then there are the people that have getting something for nothing down to a science. They go from agency to agency seeking what they could get from each of them. Ask them if they've been anywhere else and they will lie to your face and tell you no. I had an agency call yesterday to verify whether or not a couple people had been there recently. They had been in a couple days before and swore to the agency that they had not. I find it hard to deal with people that will do this. I myself wouldn't even think of trying that.
I'm not letting the bad apples deter me from wanting to help those that really do need and appreciate the help. I am grateful to those who have helped me when I needed the help. I am paying this forward.