Community Service

Community Service
Peter Hussey
Western Michigan University
Communication and Community Engagement
COM 1000
Chad Edwards & Amanda Goddard
April 07, 2011

Community Service
I thought this assignment would be interesting and allow me to do some good for the community. I chose to work with the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission because my grandmother use to volunteer at the missions and it was something she considered very important. While at the Kalamazoo Gospel the training stressed the privacy issue of all clients at the shelter so I am unable to mention any one by name. I learned a lot about careful preparation of the hot suppers, how to recognize someone high on drugs or alcohol and how to handle a difficult client. We were assigned a staff member with us at all times, and knew where a direct line to the nearby police station was. All of this made me very nervous. Just what kind of people was I going to help? My fears mostly dissolved when I walked into the recreation room of the shelter and met some of the clients. They wanted to take advantage of the heat since it was still cold outside. A silver-haired woman in her sixties, sat with a couple of other older women at a table playing cards. I nodded to them, and they smiled at me. I helped cut up vegetables for the salad for the evening meal. While we worked people came in with bags of groceries that were donated to the shelter. "Whenever Meijer has a buy one get one for free, or sometimes two for free, our donations go up," the director explained to me. I learned the shelter also provided meals to others who do not live at the shelter but have limited resources. They even give each person a bag to take home for an evening sandwich. A couple of neatly dressed silver-haired women walked in with a tray of brownies. "We thought this would make a nice dessert," one of them said. "People are generous," I remarked, as I cut the brownies into small squares so there would be enough for all those eating. I was grateful...