At 7am on a cold December morning, Lindsey Coyle and I met at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco and joined a group of volunteers assembled to greet and feed the hungry and homeless. Glide prepares and serves three meals a day, 365 days a year, feeding millions of San Francisco's poor and disenfranchised citizens (although they will feed anyone who waits in line – no one is turned away).
As a volunteer at Glide, you are there to serve as a helping hand and share kindness with these mostly overlooked citizens. First we had about 30 minutes of prep, during which we put water and milk on the tables and helped the kitchen get organized for breakfast. Lindsey was stationed in the kitchen, scooping hard-boiled eggs on a tray as part of an assembly line that prepared meals for visitors. I was placed at the door to take the guests' tickets and wish them good morning. Breakfast begins at 7:30am for senior citizens and at 8am for the general population.
I have volunteered in the kitchen a number of times, but this day was the busiest. People kept arriving at the door, some getting back in line for another hot meal as soon as they finished. At 9am, the first guests leave and lunch preparation begins. The Glide staff is some of the most kind, joyful, and committed people I have ever met.
Lindsey and I were late to work that morning, but our bosses didn't say a word. I am proud and thankful to work at a place that recognizes the value in helping those less fortunate.