What would happen if I did not show up? What would happen If I did not come to work so we could host our free community meal every Monday and Wednesday? What If I did not come home? What if I did not call my friend when I said I would? What if I did not wake up one day? What if someone from my family did not answer their phone one day? These are all things that people more or less come to expect of me day in and day out.
I have been pondering the word expect for some time from various perspectives. As the Director of Open Hands Midway there are many who expect me. Volunteers expect me to be here every Monday and Wednesday. Guests expect me to be here to greet them at the door and welcome them for meals on Monday and Wednesday. Community members who come to our food shelf expect it will be open and we will provide them with food. The Open Hands Midway Board of Directors expect me to run the organization on a daily basis. My family has come to expect they will see me when I come home from work. Those who know I bike and walk daily expect they will see me on the trails or sidewalks I frequent.
In life there is a lot we have come to expect of family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and many more. Each day we leave our house for work our employers expect we will arrive. They expect we will do our jobs. Teachers expect their students to come to school and expect they will do their homework. Our families expect we will come home each day. The list of things we expect goes on and on.
What happens when something we expect does not happen? What happens when one day we expect things and they no longer take place? This will happen, life will change and so will the things we expect.
I think we are a society that puts too much pressure on other people as we expect things. We expect that our time frame is their time frame. We expect, expect, expect, and then we expect some more. I think we need to stop expecting, get out of the way and let life unfold without expectations. I think there is beauty in moments that can be so much more meaningful if give up control, if we do not expect and if we just enjoy life without expectations of ourselves or others, just sayin'..
I recently toured the new Pivot apartment complex across the alley from us. I have to say it was nice but I also admittedly wonder who is going to move in there. When rent for a studio apartment starts at $1000 a month for a studio and $3,280 for a 3 bedroom unit I cannot imagine there will be a massive rush to move in, I hope I am wrong. The construction at times was a challenge to deal with but I have to say I actually miss the workers who I knew by name and talked to frequently. It was like another little community I had the pleasure of being a part of. They were very good neighbors, they did a lot of extra things for us which we will be forever grateful for, just sayin'...
Open Hands Midway continues to provide free community meals each Monday and Wednesday. If you, or someone you know, is willing to volunteer your time to help us serve meals we would gladly welcome you. You can sign up to become a volunteer on our website at www.openhandsmidway.org/volunteering. If you are a past volunteer who is feeling comfortable volunteering again we welcome you back and ask that you sign up to serve using the same website information above. We are still doing take out meals only until further notice along with offering fresh produce and bakery items at each meal.
In the not too distant future our new food shelf space will be ready to serve our community. There are a few steps yet to take in the process but things are starting to come together. I offer a sincere thank you to Ray B. for the days he spent helping me put together all the new shelving. I thank Vickie H., Ray B. and Steve H. for their help getting the new freezer and refrigerator inside and put in place. Thank you Pastor Kirsten for being the sounding board when it was time to arrange the shelving. Thank you Ray B. and Steve L. for helping get the new platform scale (it only weighs 315 pounds!) into the building. Our next step is getting food. With March being Food Share month across our state, we are turning to you to help us stock the shelves. We also have some partnership plans in the works to make asks for larger quantities of food. We hope you will take time to think of our guests the next time you stop at the grocery store or if you have a little extra money to share during the month of March. There is nothing more important in life than to have access to the basic life necessity of food. Will you join us in helping our neighbors in need?
As I close today I have one more group of people I would like to offer my sincere thanks to. These people give 1-2 hours of their time each week to pick up food from Kowalski's Market on Grand Avenue and bring it to Open Hands Midway. In partnership with Second Harvest Heartland's food rescue program, volunteers go to Kowalski's every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 9:30 am. The food is used in our meal program and for distribution at our meal programs. Without their dedication we would not be able to do what we do. This food, anywhere from 300 to 800 pound each time, is essential. With that said it is my pleasure to thank these wonderful people: David D., Ellen R., Phyllis H. Vickie H., Howard V., Ray H., Trudi L., Dick K., and Dennis L. We are grateful for your help and offer our heartfelt thanks, just sayin'...