What I’ve Learned Volunteering at the Soup Kitchen of Muncie
I moved to Muncie a year ago, when my husband got a teaching position at BSU. Up until then I had been working at a non-profit in New York City, and had only volunteered for a few short term things here and there. But then I met Kristina, who runs the kitchen on Mondays and Tuesdays, through my husband’s colleague, and hearing that I didn’t have much to do at the time, she invited me to help out at the kitchen.
From the start I was overwhelmed by the kindness and welcoming nature of the other volunteers. I was nervous the first day I showed up—would they think I was serious about working? Did I have to know anything about food service? Did they already have their cliques set up?
But my fears were completely unfounded. Everyone was so helpful and grateful. I’d never felt so appreciated, and this was even before we started serving clients!
I was asked that first day to be the server—to serve the final plates to the guests. Smile, and say hello, I was instructed. This might be the only conversation some folks get all day. That first day was exhausting but so rewarding. I learned so much about Muncie, the surrounding community, and the incredible respect for humanity that exists here.
Its been almost a year, and still, handing the meals to our clients is my favorite job. Meeting so many different folks that come in, hearing their stories, sharing their day—has taught me so much about perseverance, humility and enduring human strength.
You never know when you might need a meal or a kind word, and its a comfort to know there’s a community at Soup Kitchen of Muncie that will be there when you need it. I am so proud to be a part of that effort, and so proud to be part of a community that realizes the value in taking care of their neighbors.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please send us a message via our Volunteer page. Trust me, we need your help, and would be so happy to have you!
(note from the Executive Director: Gretchen has become a great asset to our efforts at Soup Kitchen of Muncie. Gretchen not only as become valuable in the kitchen and serving our guests, but she has helped us in so many ways behind the scenes with her abilities and talents in graphic and print design and her marketing expertise. Like Gretchen you can be apart of our efforts as we need all talents to help make serving our community successful. Thank you Loretta Parsons)