It’s so easy to get caught up in our crazy, busy day-to-day lives. Work is busy, home is busy. Friends and family can be demanding. Most of us don’t stop and smell the roses often enough-or stop and help someone else out. Recently a team of DAVIS employees, family and friends, did just that. We stopped and helped out others in our community. And, what a great experience it was!
DAVIS’ Impact Team, our hands-on community service team, volunteered to help serve meals at the United Way’s Pearl Street Café in Framingham, MA. The United Way opened the Pearl Street Café to provide the local community with hot meals, a food pantry and a place to connect with others in the area.
Fifteen of us arrived at 5pm, got our assignments and reviewed the processes to feed 100+ people dinner. We learned what was on that day’s menu, which tables we were assigned to, where drinks were located and how to serve the guests. Learning that those coming for meals were called “Guests” set the tone for the professional way this organization runs their kitchen. Every person was served individually-no buffet lines. And many of the regulars were greeted by name and sat at their “usual tables”. What a comforting and welcoming environment.
As people started arriving, our teams began greeting our guests and getting them their first course. I was working with my 16 year old daughter, and she relegated me to helping with the bread and butter so she could work our table on her own. She greeted each person, offered them their first course and wouldn’t let me help at all. She cleared their soup and brought them their main meal. She chatted briefly with them while they were eating and did a great job being attentive to their needs, as well as, respecting their privacy.
Each of our team members enjoyed serving the guests and having a chance to chat with them during their meal. Getting to know the other experienced volunteers who participate weekly to help at this café was also rewarding. From the person who regularly makes and donates the table centerpieces, to the person who loves training the new volunteers, to the paid staff who work hard to maintain this valuable neighborhood resource, we enjoyed meeting them all.
We stayed and cleaned up, wiped down the tables and chairs, and put away supplies. And of course we took a group picture. As we were leaving and I asked my daughter how she felt about our experience, she said, “I want to do this again soon. I like helping others and how it made me feel.” This segued into a further conversation about other volunteering opportunities she could get involved in how she can continue to help make a difference.
I was proud my daughter wanted to do more and it made me realize I want to do more, also. The next day back in the office, everyone talked about what a great experience it was and how much we enjoy getting involved in community projects. What community projects have you recently gotten involved with? Share your stories here.