When I changed focus on my blog towards a professional approach my traffic went up considerably. Makes sense considering most people are more interested in issues and discussion regarding social media rather then my life. But every once in awhile, I experience something that warrants the occasional life reflection post.
My wonderful wife has always been about the most generous and genuinely caring person I’ve ever met. She’s very passionate about helping others, and demonstrates this repeatedly through donating time, money and efforts towards numerous causes.
Jen asked me a few weeks ago if I was interested in a date night while her parents were here. Of course I was down for it. Two words….Olive Garden. Oh yea, romantic feast here we come (jealous????). However my wife had other plans. This date night involved actually serving dinner.
The Interfaith Association of Northwest Washington is a homeless shelter that provides emergency shelter and other services to homeless families. What makes them unique is that they are one of the very few shelters that actually keep families together rather then separate them. You see, most homeless shelters are forced to separate parents and children for a variety of reasons. The fact that this one actually fights to keep them together I thought was extra special.
My wife had been participating in a monthly event where she joined a few others to serve dinner to the families and I had always been meaning to go as well. I think for many people it can be much easier to ignore or set aside the challenges and unfortunate situations that exist in our communities. This time however I wanted to see it first hand, and help out as best I could. And it ended up being exactly what I needed.
Go to a homeless shelter, or any worthwhile cause, and it humbles you. It makes you put your trivial “problems” into perspective. And for me, it left me asking myself the same question my wife told me she asks herself when she leaves. What else can I do to help?
The fact is, Jen nor I are going to solve the homeless problem in our community. But for this one night, we put smiles on the faces of moms, dads and children that are suffering. The things we can take for granted like a special cooked meal go such a long way.
For the past 6 months I’ve been trying to find the best ways to make use of my time; trying to find a job, trying to start a business. But for a few hours on a Monday night, I finally felt like I was making really good use of my time.
I guess Olive Garden will have to wait.
And if you are so inspired to do so, you can donate to the shelter. Believe me, they can need and appreciate it.