This morning the 18 Wheels of Christmas Edmonton volunteers had the privilege work an 8:30am-12pm shift at the Edmonton Food Bank building food hampers for the less fortunate.
So it is now as I reflect what we were a witness to today and on my own life, my heart is heavy. Growing up, we were never what you considered a privileged family, but we never went without. Were things tight sometimes? Absolutely, but we never went without. My parents were always able to put food on the table, and we were blessed.
Hearing today the statistics of the numbers of people relying on the food bank and how the number is steadily increasing, and what the early projections for 2016 are, you can’t help but wonder how this could have happened. We live in Alberta, the “oil rich” province. How can it be? Unfortunately it is a reality thousands are facing every day.
As we built food hampers and listened to different people’s stories, I can’t imagine how these individuals that work at the Food Bank stay so positive and uplifting being surrounded by such gloom and personal hardship. I think it helps to have a great group of people, like Tamisan and Vince, who continually provide the laughter and keep looking at the good and focusing only on the positive.
While we were there, we met a homeless man, his story is heart breaking, and the Food Bank is now his safe haven, he stops in and is never turned away. They allow him a place to get warm, give him a bite to eat, and he is the nicest man you would ever hope to meet. As Santa handed out candy canes and gloves to everyone waiting, this man politely asked if he could have two pairs of the kid’s gloves to give to his grandchildren for a Christmas gift. When we left, he was outside and with a big grin, shouted “Merry Christmas” to us all from across the parking lot.
We can make a difference. There is still time to help. No man, woman, or child should ever have to go hungry.
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Merry Christmas to you and your families!