Thursday, June 27, 2013

Adventures in Service

I've been able to really dive into service lately and try out several new opportunities and projects. I'm still doing bingo and hanging out with my boys Joe, Lee and John every Monday. Joe has gotten a bit crabbier and fiesty about the callers inability to "shake 'em up." Lee's health hasn't been too great and he is less alert and sharp but still jolly and sweet. John continues to have his very cute delayed response when he gets a bingo - he's the luckiest one at our table though and wins all the time. I still love my Monday bingo nights and cherish the time I get with the boys. I've been doing Best Buddies since March. I've been partnered up with Connie who is a 40 something woman that has Down Syndrome. She is very silly and has a great sense of humor. She's likes to say some inappropriate stuff to push some boundaries - most recently asking if my mom wore a bra. How can you not smile when someone asks you something like that?? She's very curious about Rob and our marriage. She asks me nearly each week if I've had kids yet. I always have a smile on when I'm with her. We've had a great time doing some different activities. She particularly enjoys going to Dairy Queen for Blizzards and she's very good at arts and crafts. We chat each week on the phone and we spend time together twice a month. I look forward to taking her on many adventures this summer and fall. Last month I helped at the New Life for Old Bags project for Vincentian Service Day and was really impressed with the community that has been built around this effort to make mats for the homeless out of old bags. I've also been able to try some new Chicago Cares projects over the last few months. Rob and I prepared a meal at Breakthrough Urban Ministries' women's shelter. He was the burger master and I sliced veggies. I also prepared a meal at Deborah's Place in Old Town and last night I helped at the Sunlight of the Spirit's food pantry in East Garfield Park. That was probably my favorite so far. It reminded me of the pantries I helped at in Cincinnati on my service trip. I'm excited to go back again and start to form a relationship with the staff and the clients they serve. Next I'll be serving a meal at Cornerstone Community Outreach with DePaul alumni in a few weeks. So far I've been reminded that I'm lousy in the kitchen, but reminded that you can still get an A for effort. I've been reminded that a smile and eye contact goes a long way. Mostly importantly I've been reminded that service is good for the soul. Whatever project I'm doing I always feel more fulfilled, good and grateful afterwards. I'm reminded how lucky I am to lead the life that I do. I'm looking forward to trying new projects and continuing to learn new things!

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