Annual holiday dinner teaches joy of giving
Every year around Thanksgiving time, a service agency named Equinox provides dinners to families who may need assistance. One of the services offered to homebound families is delivering meals to them. My family and I participated in waiting in line, gathering several food items and delivering them to four homebound families. Our role as a volunteer was to be a driver.
The thing that came to my mind that morning was having to get up early and do something that I had never done before. My mother told me we had to stay in line for a while and then deliver meals to different homebound families in Albany. At first, I was frustrated with my mother, who made me volunteer. Once my family and I stepped into Albany’s Empire State Plaza (where we needed to pick up the meals), I looked straight ahead and saw the line for delivering food was so unbelievably long. It was hard to believe that all these people, close to 3,000 volunteers, were here to help their neighbors. People actually brought chairs to sit in while they waited for the line to move. It took my family and I about 10 minutes to walk ourselves to the end of the line. After a few minutes of taking in the scenery, listening to a live band and watching those around me mingle with each other, I realized what I was really here for. I was here to help deliver food to people in need. I mean, isn’t Thanksgiving really about giving?
Once I became comfortable with my surroundings, my family and I started interacting with people around me. The line decreased rapidly and soon enough we were picking spots to deliver food. We were lucky to have chosen addresses pretty close to our own community. We received a lot of food, including a dinner, rolls, gravy and dessert, however, our car could handle the weight of all the food. We delivered to two families and two elderly people. Going to each house seemed to not only make their day, but it made mine, too. All of the families expressed gratitude and thanked us as we left. Seeing their faces light up and watching their smile appear was truly amazing.
Looking back on this experience, it is hard to believe that I started that morning frustrated at my mother! This was the first charitable experience I had where I saw firsthand the impact I could have on my community. It was heartwarming and like nothing I had ever experienced before. Equinox’s Thanksgiving delivery service is something I have decided I will do every year. It is something I will always remember.