Philadelphia 1 - Homelessness/Poverty (4)

This morning, we started our service at Philabundance. Our shift started at 12:30pm. When we got to the volunteering center, we went in a conference room and got introduced to the organization. We watched a video and it was really touching. We got to see the great contribution they have on the community in Philadelphia.
            After viewing the video, we got a chance to get involved. Today’s task was a little different, as it involved sorting through prepackaged pallets of pasta due to the Kraft recall. There were over 35,000 pounds of pasta that had to be sorted through, checked for reuse and repackaged. Working there with another volunteer group we were able to sort through 17,000 pounds of prepackaged food.
            Our second task involved secondary sorting. Secondary sorting is when the food is already preapproved but has to be put into boxes, weighed and placed on pallets to be shipped out. This task wasn’t as long as our time ran out but we were involved in an important process. Some people made boxes, packaged and weighed them and then stacked them appropriately. This was very important even though at the time it didn’t seem as such. In about 20 minutes w were able to sort through another 1,400 pounds.
            The work we did today was a great representation of the MAB principles. Be gumby was vital in today’s service. Many of us wanted to be on the front lines or serving directly with the homeless but that isn’t what was needed today. We were in a cooler area sorting food but it was necessary for this organization in order to be as impactful. Volunteers help offset $2 million in cost over the year and we are a part of that. We don’t directly see the people we help or the needs of the community but knowing we are behind the scenes and having some type of impact laying the foundation of an important product is something that actually matters and shouldn’t be discounted.
            Serving not helping has come into play quite often. We are here to serve the people of Philadelphia and Philabundance and not help. Whenever we are given a task it is our job to do it and do it happily, not to complain, not to keep doing what we are doing, but serve the company and their needs. That is a lesson we all learned. That is a characteristic we will continue to exhibit throughout the duration of this trip.

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