Reflections of a congregational youth

Packed Bags

Written by Patrick Donovan, Foothills Unitarian

Recently I helped move a few families out of the church and clean up before a service was held. Through experience, I’ve gotten pretty efficient with the whole process so that it only takes an hour to an hour and a half. The families this week were all very nice people, and again it pained me to see them in such terrible circumstance. I’m constantly reminded about how lucky I am to live comfortably. The kids my age who I help move look and act no differently than I do. They’re just victims of bad luck.

Ethically speaking, this service is good and has positive effects. However I have to be constantly evaluating my actions. My curiosity tends to get the better of me and this can be bad when I am moving things because my natural instinct is to look at the things these families own. I shouldn’t do this because the families have already swallowed their pride and allowed me to carry their only belongings, so I do not want to invade their space further.

My teamwork skills are improving as I work with the families and other volunteers to move, clean, and set things up. Working effectively as a team can speed up the process and minimize stress for the families. I learned of an opportunity to stay as an overnight guest at the church with the families. The responsibilities would be cooking, cleaning, dealing with emergencies, and being vigilante of the guests. I’d like to do this because it would be a great help and would allow me to get to know more of the people I serve.

Homelessness is a large problem, but by making it small it can be reduced.