August 2011- I am starting a 29-Day Challenge to give one gift each day and see how it affects my life. I have always considered myself a giver, but I feel this challenge will challenge and focus me on giving more. I was inspired by the book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving can Change your Life. I ran across it 2 years ago in a bookstore in Springfield, MO, and I titled a piece of paper 29 Gifts. I found that same piece of paper the other day, and I saw it as a sign to start the challenge. You can learn more about the book and challenge at http://givingchallenge.ning.com/.
After 1 month of giving, I have continued this challenge in giving and sharing the stories with others. Hope you enjoy reading about my adventures with giving!
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Day 37: Making a Sandwich
Today my gift was making a lady a sandwich just the way she wanted it. I volunteered at Second Helping again, which is a program through the 1st Congregational Church in Manhattan, KS that serves meals each Sunday to those in need. We had a great turnout of volunteers and even had two teenagers come to help. Each week a home-cooked meal is made and sack lunches are put together for those that come. This week I helped make the sandwiches and set up the tables. As I was setting up the tables, a lady asked me, if we had any more sandwiches because she didn't get one. I ran back to the kitchen and grabbed one of the extra sandwiches to give to the her. As I presented it to the her, she looked at it closely. She asked if she could have a sandwich with just cheese on it with no meat or lettuce. I said, "Sure, no problem" and walked quickly back to the kitchen to solve this problem. I took the meat and lettuce off and put it on another sandwich, so it would not go to waste. I was so happy, I was going to make this lady's day by giving her a sandwich with just cheese. As I presented the second sandwich to her, she looked at it closely again. She replied she wanted white bread and would not eat wheat bread. I walked back to the kitchen a little more slowly to solve this dilemma. I took out another sandwich with white bread and thought I could just switch the white bread for the wheat bread. And that's what I did. I walked back over to the lady to present to her the third sandwich I had made for her. Immediately, she looked at it, and she said she wanted American cheese not Swiss cheese. I asked her if she was sure, and she said she was. I walked back to the kitchen yet again to make her sandwich for the fourth time. I was determined to give her the sandwich that she wanted. Other volunteers warned me that she was always making demands, but I wanted to make her happy and make her the sandwich she wanted. So I pulled off the Swiss cheese, and I put a new slice of American cheese on the two slices of white bread. I walked energetically over to the lady to present plain American cheese sandwich made with white bread to her. This was the one, I just knew it! She looked closely at the sandwich, which made me nervous. She opened her mouth to speak, and I winced. The lady said, "Oh, you are such a sweetheart!" She was so overjoyed that she had finally gotten the sandwich she wanted. I was overjoyed too that I had finally gotten it right. The lady introduced herself to me as Diana and even introduced me to her son. I told her I was happy I could make her sandwich right, and I told her it was nice to meet her. As I left that day from volunteering, I thought back to my experience. Diana was a "regular" at the Second Helping meal. She probably did not have the opportunity to go out to eat at a restaurant or even enough food to get her through the week. Sometimes in life, we have no control over our situations. In those situations, I think we all react similarly to how Diana did. We take comfort in rituals and in those things we still have control over. I'm glad I met Diana because she reminds me that we are all going through something. I believe with a little patience, a little kindness, and a little determination, we can all make each other's journeys through life a little more joyful.