With all the recent turmoil and conflict, it’s easy to think that there is no good left in the world. After all, when we turn on the television, the radio, or scroll through the latest news updates on our cell phones, we’re normally confronted with pain, devastation, and ignorance. Still, there are many good Samaritans and community programs that go unnoticed.
This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with a group called Random Acts of Kindness, a Meetup group that is focused on helping others in our community through various means. One of their programs involves making sandwiches for the homeless, which they give to the Soup Mobile for distribution throughout the week.
On the third Saturday of each month, Random Acts of Kindness meets up at LIFE in Deep Ellum, which is located in Dallas, Texas. Some of their volunteers are Random Acts of Kindness regulars, while others show up by word of mouth. Some are looking for a way to meet new people while making a difference and others just want to find a way to give back to the community. Lovella, a first time volunteer, came with another person who had volunteered with Random Acts of Kindness before. “We have been looking for volunteer work, “she says, smiling. She tells me that they will be participating again next month with more friends and family.
Sherri, an Assistant Organizer for Random Acts of Kindness, has been working with the organization for six years, along with several other Assistant Organizers. On average, she says they get “close to two thousand” sandwiches during their events, depending on supplies, volunteers, and donations. “The people bring the supplies and then we balance out. We count everything and then we balance it out. Then we’ll go to the store and buy more supplies to hopefully use up everything that we have,” she says, her eyes scanning the room as the volunteers pack up the large white tables and excess sandwich bags.
Sherri says that the Random Acts of Kindness group is involved in several community programs. “Random Acts of Kindness does the Soup Mobile, they visit seniors, they serve lunch at the Salvation Army, they work at the North Texas Food Bank, they have a ramp project where they build ramps for homebound people- so they’re involved in a lot of stuff.”
The volunteers at my table turned out tray after tray of sandwiches, using an assembly line technique. It was efficient yet fun, as they yelled “Whoo!” with every completed tray. In the end, that day’s volunteers made 2,600 sandwiches, which will be delivered to the Soup Mobile and then to the Dallas area homeless population.
If you would like to donate to this or many other programs geared toward helping the homeless, please go to the Soup Mobile website at www.soupmobile.org. If you are interested in volunteering with Random Acts of Kindness, you can find them on Meetup.com.