Written by Sally White
As STC member Lonna White commented, “…sometimes you just need to get outside yourself.” And that’s exactly what members of the STC Southern Nevada Chapter did on Saturday morning, August 17, 2013. For its annual community service event, the group met at a local food bank and picked up bags of fruits, vegetables, and non-perishables to be delivered to those in need throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Two STC teams set off armed with groceries, cell phones, a list of names, and maps. From there on out, it was anyone’s guess as to what could be expected at each stop. The teams traveled to areas they didn’t know existed, into environs completely remote from their own comfortable neighborhoods. Casts of colorful characters were encountered every mile of the way.
Teams Head Out
Each team had a driver, a navigator, and a phone caller to let recipients know they were on their way. Each team was also accompanied by a youngster serving in the all-important role of bread handler. Team Kate was supported by three-year-old daughter Hannah, and Team Raf enjoyed the able assistance of five-year-old Aiden, Lonna’s grandson. Not a single loaf was squashed in the process. Each stop had its own backstory that will forever remain just out of our reach. From the hearing impaired, to the bedridden, to the substance abusers, to those completely alone, each recipient had a story to tell, a life to be examined. After all, every life has a story. But those stories were not to be told, only speculated upon. The common thread of those lives, however, was the look of happiness when complete strangers knocked on the door and handed over a bounty of food that one sweltering summer morning. As Aiden commented about one woman, “She had puffy eyes!!” Yes, her eyes grew larger and larger as each bag was handed to her. The look of joy on her face was priceless.
Make a Difference
Old age and infirmity. Addiction and hopelessness. Joblessness and poverty. Loneliness and despair. People in our community struggle with these issues every single day. But a few hours can make a difference in many lives, both those of recipients and those of volunteers. Never take for granted what you have. Don’t forget about those in need as you go about your busy life. And remember to give back to your community. As Lonna noted, it is important to get outside yourself. And to be thankful every single day for what you have and knowing you have the ability to help someone else, even if it’s only with a bag of fruit, a loaf of bread, and plenty of smiles. After the deliveries were made, members met and enjoyed a hearty lunch and sparkling conversation at Café Zupas. Thanks, Raf, for the terrific suggestion! Thanks to STC members who participated:
- Kate Tinklenberg and Hannah
- Colleen Witzenburg (Kate’s sister visiting from Minnesota)
- Sheila Alipon and daughter Shianna.
- Raf Adame
- Sally White
- Lonna White and Aiden