Dallas, TX - Homelessness and Poverty (Post 6)

Today (3/24/14) we volunteered at the Resource Center Dallas (RCD). The RCD is the primary lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and HIV/AIDS service organization in North Texas. The Center offers many LGBT services to the community and operates one of the largest LGBT Cumminity Centers in the United States. The Community Center is home to a variety of community organizations and serves over 50,000 people each year through its programs and services. Some of these services include the Hot Meals Program and the Food Pantry where we would spend our time serving in Dallas. With such a large group (22) we split up between each location. Below are some reflections from day 1 with the RCD.

Jordan M. - Freshmen - Atlanta, GA
Today, while volunteering at the food bank, I was touched at how kind and respectful the people we helped were. They were really appreciative, and many were open for conversation with a complete stranger. I haven’t had many opportunities to help those that are less fortunate than myself, but I have certainly learned a lot from this chance. I learned that while your situation may seem bleak, there are always positive things in this world that can make the darkness appear a little brighter. Perhaps the aspect of this experience I appreciated most was when the people I helped showed gratitude and thanked me for volunteering personally. I felt a sense of personal fulfillment throughout the day, and I could definitely see myself participating in something similar to this in the future. I loved the experience.

Kevin S. - Freshmen - Chicago, IL
My experience today was considerably humbling and interesting, specifically in regards to my interactions with the leaders at the shelters, and the individuals we were serving. I have worked similar things like this before, such as soup kitchens, homeless community service, etc, however, seeing a lot of individuals and knowing that many of them had HIV/AIDSwas eyeopening. In addition, having not spent anytime around many individuals in the LGBT community, it was also intriguing to be around that community and be able to shatter some stereotypes and misconceptions. Despite it being such a small representative sample, I feel that I briefly witnessed how many individuals live, and that experience is important to someone like me, who is very much interested in social/humanity work. I also enjoyed Juan’s speech to us in the end about how our efforts actually help and were enjoyed by not only the staff but also the clients, that reassurance granted me the satisfaction that our efforts what not in vain but actually helpful

Jarrett J. - Freshmen - Kansas City, MO
Volunteering at the Dallas Resource Center was a good experience. I have never been around so many people that had HIV/AIDS and was fortunate enough to hear little parts of people’s stories while I was working near them. Listening to a little bit of there stories made me realize that at end of the day they are still good people no matter what obstacles they have been through. Volunteering there was very fun. It was fun because all the people that worked there were happy that we were volunteering. The workers made the environment of the whole thing exciting and easy-going.

Darius C. - Freshmen - Chicago, IL
The service that MBMI volunteered for today really had an impact on me in a way that I did not think it would. I have volunteered for different things before, knew about homeless people, and those also with HIV, but this put my thoughts into a new perspective. It gave me more of an awareness of a unknown background that people can possess. People who you would never think that went through these kind of struggles were suffering but try to remain positive about it. I did not feel bad for the people that we helped out today because majority of them came into that food pantry in such good moods that I could not help but smile. Although some were homeless, some had HIV, some had other situations that we could not tell, they kept a laugh with them and smile on their face. It helped me to gain a better positive attitude about my day to day life because people do not plan for these things to happen to them, but such things happen and it leaves from your control. I just know that no matter how hard things get for me or anyone, just try to always be positive about it because a great attitude and mindset about life will always out you in a better mood. Those people do not know it, but they made an impact not only in my day, but also my life, mind, and heart. I plan on and look forward to doing more service work in order to help others and just make an impact on them, if even in the slightest way.


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