Thursday, November 24, 2016

We Were Thankful in Salt Lake City

Catholic Community Services, Salt Lake City
A friend on Facebook said he was trying to volunteer at a rescue mission on Thanksgiving, but he wasn’t able to. Someone responded that at that rescue mission, volunteering positions filled up three months in advance for the holiday. I guess it’s not surprising: giving to others is a wonderful way to express thankfulness.

It would be even more difficult to volunteer to serve a meal on Thanksgiving at St. Vincent de Paul in Salt Lake City, because they don’t serve meals that day. Almost every other day of the year they serve meals, but because so many other organizations offer meals on Thanksgiving, that week is set apart for deep cleaning. At the dining hall they posted locations that would be serving on the holiday.

But most of the rest of the year, they serve lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, brunch and dinner on Saturdays, and dinner on Sundays to everyone who wants a meal. We saw men and women, elderly people and little kids.

Dean, pulled pork, St Vincent de Paul, Salt Lake City, kitchen
Thanks to our hosts in Utah, Mindy and I were able serve on a Thursday and a Friday. We were able to unwrap frozen pork roasts from Deseret Foods (a service of the Latter Day Saints) on Thursday for cooking, and we got to put pulled pork in cooking trays Friday morning. When it was lunch time, we got to serve the pulled pork for sandwiches for Friday lunch. We also got to eat the pulled pork sandwiches for lunch, and they were excellent.

The folks we worked with, especially Johnnie and Jeff in the kitchen, were concerned about making tasty food that people would enjoy. They joked about doing a rescue mission edition of Iron Chef.

On this day when we express gratitude for all we have, let’s be thankful for those who faithfully serve others. And let’s look for opportunities to do the same.

Before one meal's over, the next is underway