By David Drude

A day in the life of a service minister…

Your day begins early in the morning (before it gets so hot, haha!) by rolling out the supplies and equipment to be used for the preparation of the hot meals. It is now time to combine the ingredients you have been collecting all week; collecting with a heart overflowing with love for your sisters and brothers who need to know how much Christ loves them.

While the pots are simmering, you get to work… setting up tables, chairs, tents, and fans that will be used to hold the produce to be delivered by Catholic Charities later in the morning. After the teams have assembled, it is time to say a prayer of thanksgiving for the volunteers and the folks coming to receive the bounty of God’s blessing. Then… box up the hot food and bag it for disbursement.

About now is the time when more volunteers arrive who will register our neighbors in need and help with the distribution. The truck may or may not be running late, so of course you become anxious about having enough time to set out the produce and boxes of dry goods. Finally, the truck arrives and there is a mad dash to unload the groceries and get everything ready to distribute. Some folks unload pallets, some set out boxes, and others start bagging the fresh produce and meat.

At last, we are ready to accept those in need and the registration and distribution begins. It is 102 degrees in the shade and you must look out for your fellow volunteers so they do not become over-heated. You don’t have much time to worry about anything else because of the pace of the process. All this concern softens when you see the happy faces on the recipients as they leave with their boxes and bags. Their smiles and words of gratitude and “God Bless You!” is enough to give you the strength to keep on going.

Finally, after three hours… the pallets are empty… the tables are bare… and the dumpster is full of boxes and empty pallets… After cleaning up, it is time to go home, cool off, and thank God that you are able to be used in His service and the task has once again been accomplished. It is all done.

If you think this sounds like Heaven on Earth, like it is for us, you may want to consider volunteering your services. Food distribution is a fast-growing ministry at St. Margaret/St. Thomas and we continually need more volunteers.

To volunteer, please call the Parish Office at 225-567-3573, and give them your contact information and we will get back in touch with you.