As all of my friends went back home this summer, I found myself alone in a city I didn’t know and looking for something to do. I’ve always enjoyed volunteer work, and I thought it would be a great way to meet people and get involved in the community I would now be calling home. The first place I came across was Mel Trotter Ministries, a foreign name to me at the time. However, I am now aware of how well known they are in GR, and I am so glad to be a part of it.
My first experience in the kitchen was chaotic, messy, and there was clearly a lot of learning ahead of me if I wanted to keep up, but I loved the atmosphere. The head chefs were fun and happy to have some extra hands, other volunteers were laughing and getting to know each other, and those being served exhibited an admirable amount of strength and positivity.
The liveliness radiating from everyone in the kitchen makes volunteering fun and exciting. There is never a dull moment, and there is always a new person to chat with and learn from every time I’m there. Everyone has a unique story, and a special reason for helping out, giving a young person like myself many perspectives to learn from and appreciate.
I look forward to going in and seeing the vibrant kitchen staff, while also getting to cook and learn tricks in the kitchen. It’s a time where I learn not only about making good food, but also life lessons from people with all kinds of backgrounds. My time gifts me recipes that have been passed down for decades, struggles that have turned into success stories, and life tails that are sprinkled with humor and heartbreak.
One of the greatest things I have learned during my times at Mel Trotter is the true power of positivity. Watching and listening to those who are staying there, or have stayed there and are now back to help, is humbling and impactful to say the least. I see the way they are able to pick out the smallest things in their lives and make them a sign of hope or inspiration, and push through their current challenges. They are smiling and laughing, while going through some of the toughest times they may face in their lives. It is truly inspiring to see their perseverance and ability to overcome. I try to match their positive attitudes in my own life, and it does amazing things. I am so glad I have gotten the chance to hear of their experiences, and been able to learn and take away such a powerful message from them collectively.
If you’re interested in volunteering with Mel Trotter Ministries click here for more information.