As we head in to a new year, many of us are pausing to reflect on the past and plan for the future. While we look around ourselves during this truly historic and economically unstable moment in time, what plans are we making, both as individuals and as businesses in Orange County, to help those in need around us?
A few weeks ago, the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa invited the OC Metro and OC Family bloggers to help serve meals to the hungry and homeless. I had always wanted to help out at a soup kitchen, so I jumped at the opportunity. As I pulled up and saw the long line snaking it’s way around the building, my heart sank. So many people waiting patiently…to have access to food, a basic necessity of life. Inside, they waited patiently again in their seats until their table was called.
As they made their way to the food line, I took a good look at who was there. Only a handful resembled the stereotyped person, who visits a soup kitchen. Most of the visitors were clean cut, sober. Some were dressed professionally, visiting the soup kitchen between interviews because it helps them save money for bus fare to get from appointment to appointment. Others were mothers who need a free meal and to pick up some free produce to feed their kids, to help stretch their dollar. Several of the group were elderly. They all looked like people we know and live next to and pass by in our daily lives.
My experience at Someone Cares left an indelible impression on me, and that’s why, starting this year, I will be volunteering at there with my family as well as with those who work with me at Lightswitch. As businesses in Orange County, it’s part of the social contract that we give back to our community and help people get back on their feet.
Someone Cares Soup Kitchen is always looking for volunteers, especially during the months from January to October. You can read more about their efforts to feed the hungry (they feed 450 people, 7 days/week) and their tutoring program for children here, or watch a brief video here.
There are numerous charities and organizations in Orange County that could use your volunteerism and support. So, how will you give back in 2012?