Today I am super proud of myself and of Cassidy. We had an full day of serving others and I couldn’t be happier. Our morning started in the South Side at seven am and we volunteered with a K-Love sponsored program called the Make a Difference Tour, with show anchors Scott and Kelli. They spent the past three days in Pittsburgh helping our community make a difference and Cassidy and I were blessed to be a part of it.
I am not sure what called me to sign us up but I heard about it on the radio and without even knowing my work schedule I decided to sign up. I was hoping that I would not be scheduled and by the grace of God I wasn’t. I was meant to be right where I ended up this morning and while there was a chance of rain that potentially could have put a damper on our project, it was beautiful all day long.
Cassidy and I were a part of a project that is actually already a community organization that is already in place in the South Side Slopes. The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association asked K-Love to sponsor their project in hopes of getting more help from volunteers like us today. We spent the morning scraping, sanding and painting a railing that follows a very busy street and leads into the park on S 21st street. This railing was in need of a face lift and we were just the crew to do it.
All of the volunteers paired up in twos and took a section at a time of the fence and began chipping and scraping away at the years of rust and ugly mint green paint. It took each group several hours to complete even one section of the fence but as we did the groups would move on up the line to another unattended section.
Cassidy and I had our own section and our own set of challenges. I tried to be as patient as possible on little sleep and told myself repeatedly that this was not about us but about the community. Cassidy repeatedly reminded me how easy it is to get paint pretty much anywhere. The picture above has her holding a wet paint sign and for good reason. She had covered herself in wet paint pretty much from head to toe.
Take a good look at the clothes she has on because they are officially ruined. I say that with a chuckle because while I would have loved to have seen her come home clean, I am more proud that she got to experience helping others when we really didn’t have to.
We could have easily slept in and would have enjoyed it greatly but this felt so much better. All morning long people drove past and honked at us. They waved and smiled because they knew we were doing something wonderful. It was nothing to do with paint but more to do with love.
Cassidy said that the people were honking because we were filling their buckets. The bucket refers to their hearts. When you do something kind and it makes someone happy, you are filling their bucket. When you do something unkind you tip their bucket or empty it. All morning Cassidy pointed out the buckets that she was filling and she was right. Those people honked and waved because we all were a part of something positive.
We managed to finish our section within a few hours and we posed in front of it like we owned that section. It made me think about how strong that really is. We helped make it beautiful once again and we took ownership of it. That is the point. It we all pitch in just a tiny bit and take the ownership imagine what we could do.
So we finished up and Cassidy had spent all the energy that she has. It was hot and sunny and she had soccer practice in a couple hours so we headed home instead of doing another section. I was sad to leave because I wanted to help more but I was more excited that I taught Cassidy the value of helping others. She realized that what she was doing was filling buckets and she took great pride in that.
Our next project after soccer was being a part of a meal Train. This is something I had never heard of before but I love the idea and wish that I had thought of it myself. When ever someone I know is going through something difficult, my response is always food. This website is all about that. You actually sign up to deliver dinner to the person or family and it is organized so different people can do different meals and coordinate times and meals.
I love this web site so much and I only wish that I could sign up to do other dinners for people that I don’t know as well. Today, we brought dinner to our friends who have had a rough month. They are new parents and have faced more than what they bargained for. My heart was breaking for their family today and I wish that I could do more than a pot pie.
I put myself in our friends shoes as I left their house and I felt so sad. Life just dealt them a tough hand to put it mildly and I don’t know how I’d be positive in their situation. I prayed for them as I left and I thought that their must be a reason for all of the difficulties that are facing them. We will never know that reasons but I am sure that good will come of it all.
I looked at their gorgeous baby and I could see that she was a gift. Things may be dreary right now but that precious baby must be worth it all. I am sure that our friends will some day look back and think that it was a small price to pay for how amazing she will become.
That said, I will sign up for the meal train again as soon as I can and any of you that read this and know which friends I am talking about should consider it as well. There is something so wonderful about helping others that I just can’t even describe. I feel so lucky to have been able to spend this day the way I did. It was busy and hot, and I have some crazy sunburn to prove it, but I made a difference today. Small difference maybe, but none the less a difference.
Most importantly I taught Cassidy by example, how important it is to serve others. There is no greater feeling. There are people and communities everywhere that need our help. I am honored to lend my hand and I can’t wait for my next opportunity!