Community Connections: How a Day Makes a Difference


On June 14 I cooked for a homeless shelter with the Mitzvah Corps. I woke up, got ready, went to Starbucks with my mom and then went to the Oshman Family JCC to cook. Not to cook for me, but to cook for people at a homeless shelter. About ten other people were there to help and to feed people at the homeless shelter. We made sandwiches, cut fruit, made dessert and made a pasta salad. We cooked for about three hours. Doesn’t sound like a normal Sunday morning in the summer, right?

I started off by making sandwiches with two other girls, one my age and one a few years older. One of the girls would hand me a piece of bread, I put cheese on it, passed it to the last girl who put turkey on it and handed her the other piece of bread to make it a sandwich. We did this 60 times. Then we made a few tuna sandwiches.

After we finished the sandwiches, we started on the pasta salad. I peeled and chopped the cucumbers while the two other girls, Sophie and Lea, drained the vegetables and made the salad. Then I added the cucumbers and they mixed the salad. While we made the pasta salad and the sandwiches, our moms cut fruit and vegetables and another family made the desserts. We were finally done.

We drove in two separate cars to the homeless shelter. Both cars were full of food. When we arrived, the room that people ate in was already half full. We set up the food quickly. Lea and I scooped cut-up fruit into cups, then we began serving everyone.

People came and told us if they wanted a turkey sandwich or a tuna sandwich. We put it on a plate for them. Lea and I asked them if they wanted pasta salad or not; if yes, we put some on their plate. They were all very kind to us and they were always saying, “Thank You.” It was nice to see how grateful they were.

After we were done serving everyone, we got to eat some of the food we cooked. Lea, her mom and I left the kitchen and sat down with a dad and his daughter. He told us that he has another daughter who is 16 years old and that she was in their room. We asked his younger daughter how old she was and she said she was almost 12. They told us that they are from San Luis Obispo. The Dad graduated from Cal-Poly two years ago. We talked with them for a while and then he told us that he had a job interview coming up that Wednesday. He told us he needed the money.

Then it was time to go help clean up, so we told them it was nice meeting them and good luck on Wednesday.

After hearing that, Lea and I felt very grateful for our lives.

We had fun cooking and serving food, but we were very tired by the time we had to leave. It was amazing to see how grateful everyone was and I think that any other kid or adult would love the experience. I encourage everyone to do it! It’s one small step to making the world a better place.

Editor’s note: You can learn more about becoming part of our Mitzvah Corps here.

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Maya, Age 10

Written by Maya, Age 10

Maya is a volunteer with the Mitzvah Corps and an active member of the OFJCC community. This is her first time writing as a guest-blogger.

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