One of the local schools recently recognized how many children are hungry at school and sent out a note telling families about our free Monday night meals. We expected an onslaught this week, so we really kicked it into high gear. Our goal was to make 900 plates worth of food.
Every guest at our dinner is offered clean clothes. Volunteers collect requests, gather the needed clothing, and put it in a bag for the guest to take home. This week some generous soul had donated hundreds of pairs of women's cotton underwear, so before we got started with the meatloaf and mashed potatoes, we rolled panties into neat bundles, taped the bundles and wrote the sizes on the tape. We were a panty-rolling machine, I tell you.
Fingers flying, I thought about a life where you have to send your children to school hungry, a life where clean panties are a luxury. I've been needing a little perspective. Those panties provided it.
When I got home, my inbox was overflowing. Among the dozens of problems and requests was a note from an editor on my team, thanking me for my help. My job often feels like trying to dig through the center of the earth using a teaspoon. One note of appreciation, and I feel recharged and ready to go.
A couple from our bike riding group has to put down one of their dogs today. I'm off now to make some soup and rolls to leave at their front door when they get home. It's not much, but it's what I can do.
Small things make a big difference: a good meal and clean panties; a note of thanks; a bit of comfort in a sad time.
I've been trying to transform my body and my self over night. Maybe that's not necessary after all. Maybe the effort is the answer.