For my community service this summer, I decided to get more involved with my church. I belong to the Tri-Community Catholic Parish which consists of three churches in the Colorado Springs, Manitou, and Cascade area. I attend Holy Rosary Chapel every Sunday morning and after mass there is always a community gathering that parishioners bake treats for. So, for a few Sundays this summer, I have baked breads and cookies to bring to share. While at first it seemed like a mundane task, I grew to understand that it was so much more than just baking. My family and I would wait after mass to collect the dishes and during that time we would talk to so many others that attended mass as well. I got to know my community so much more through small conversations on Sunday and now feel much more of a sense of belonging.
The other service I toke part in was helping serve the Lord’s Supper at the Sacred Heart Parish in Colorado Springs. The Lord’s Supper is a dinner that is held for the homeless each Sunday night in the community hall. Different parishes in the area each take turns serving and providing the dinner for those who are in need of a hot meal. This was the first time I have volunteered at the dinner and I was amazed. So many members of our parish were there to help prepare the meal and serve it to the homeless community. The dinner began at 6, but people were coming in by 5 and while they waited for the food they conversed with each other and all of the volunteers. My sister and I helped hand our drinks with the meal, serve the meal, collecting trash, and clean up. While bringing people what they needed, I was amazed by their willingness to converse and the gratitude they expressed. Many of them requested extra meals to bring to their family and friends that could not attend and I could see how tight their community it. They all were looking out for each other.
Interacting with a community so different than my own was already a challenge because I had no idea what to expect. After hearing some of their stories and talking to the other volunteers I was so amazed by the community in that room. Everyone there wanted to help each other, and I was so touched by all of the love. Next summer when I am home from school, I hope to participate again because it really is the small things such as providing a meal for someone that helps change their lives.