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I can hardly believe it! After 20 years serving at the Rosa Parks Program of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, today is my last official day.
These 20 years of ministry at the Conner Kitchen have truly changed my life, broadened my vision, delighted my heart and given new depths to my soul. I have discovered much about poverty and racism. I have learned to lament and to rejoice, to bless and to be blessed, to journey and to let go. Even during times of struggle and grief at the kitchen, I know I have loved and embraced every day and each child.
Volunteering is important for numerous reasons that benefit both the community and the volunteers themselves. When someone donates a handful of time, the difference made is tremendous and it shapes a community for the better while the experience improves the person who donated the time.
Last week our annual three-week peace camp began for nearly 50 children. Every summer I get almost the same emotions. I become so excited about this wonderful experience we offer our children. I just love seeing the younger children begin their first tentative steps in Praise Dancing. I delight in the first art therapy sessions when the children thrive on creative expression and make their own T-shirt designs. I get goosebumps when many voices finally become a choir and the camp participants make a song come alive. Mostly, I realize a deep sense of gratitude and satisfaction as the groups become a community and the children share kindness and respect toward each other.
This week three men visited from Wisconsin for two days to see what we at CSK do and how we do it. They are involved in a similar ministry in Wisconsin. They got and ear full and eye full in visiting our sites plus four other organizations that work with homeless and marginal people in the city of Detroit.