There was a long line of people in front of us.
And, there were more people in line around the corner. On this particular day, I heard there were around 5,000 people who showed up to help. The lines moved quickly and we were all excited to get started.
The process was simple. Once we registered, they gave us "the uniform". A plastic apron and an oh-so-attractive hair net.
Normally, a picture like this wouldn't see the light of day. Not because Amber is blurry, but because of "the uniform". Since we did this for a good cause, there's no shame and I expect there to be no mocking! (You know who you are.) Also, this is the only photo Sara would allow me to post that includes her because she says she looks like the lunch lady she had in elementary school. I said, "Yeah, but you're a hot lunch lady!" She didn't buy it.
We waited for them to let us in. Each group of 12 people worked for one hour. At the end of the hour, if they wanted to work more, they would exit and get back in line so everyone would get the opportunity to serve. I found it interesting that there were 12 people at the tables working together to provide meals for the Haitian people because that's how many disciples Jesus had. The entire time I was there, I kept thinking of Matthew 25:35. "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in." We made sure the kids knew why we were doing this. They're very aware of the tragedy in Haiti, and they know that this is the right thing to do and that God has given us time and strength and health and resources to help.
You'd think that this was just an event for church groups. Wrong! There were people from ALL walks of life and it was refreshing to see. Even a guy with the most amazing mohawk I've ever seen showed up to help. He had a little trouble with the hairnet, though. You'll have to look really hard in this next picture, but he's in there, waiting his turn. Mad props, mohawk dude!The kids did great! Andrew sealed up the bags of food. Amber helped fill the bags with food on the first day and helped pack the second day. Sara held the bags open under the funnel for the food to collect in. I called her the "bag lady". The bags had to weigh a certain amount. Every step was precise...from measurements, to how the bags were sealed to how they were boxed up. On day one, I helped the kids at the table get precise measurements of rice, soy, vegetables, spices and vitamins. On day two, Andrew would remove the excess air from the food bag and I would help him seal. One of the green shirts (people who volunteer a large part of their day to direct each table) asked me to also help box up the bags of food in a particular way and then very meticulously tape them up for shipping and air drop. I'm not sure about the first day, but today, in just one hour, our table put together 10 boxes of food containing 36 bags, each able to feed 5-6 people. That's 2160 meals! Every time a table completes a box, the table cheers. Guess who was voted to be the cheerleader each day? Yeah...that'd be me. And I rocked it, people! We made some noise! Then, every time 5,000 meals were complete, they'd bang a gong. No, not the T-Rex or Power Station Bang a Gong, but they'd hit an actual gong, and everyone in the Coliseum would cheer! It was very unifying and satisfying and all kinds of other -ing words.
There's another event in a couple of weeks. I told the kids, and they're already asking to do it again. To me, that's a success story in itself. And you know what? We'll be there to do it all over again. Maybe we'll see you there.