This is a photo of Michael and I by the dishwasher at the Out of the Cold program at Knox Presbyterian Church. We volunteer here every Tuesday night from the beginning of November to the end of April. Our program caters to disadvantaged young people under the age of 25. We provide them with a hot meal and food to take home from our food bank. After dinner they can join Darlene's sewing group, shoot hoops with their buddies, play our antiquated video game system or use the 5-pin bowling alley when we choose to open it.
We open shop at 6:30 p.m. The first volunteers come much earlier to prepare the meal. The only regular I know from that time is Pat. He's a really cool guy. There's another fellow who's always there too, but I don't know his name. I'm sort of embarrassed about that because he's been helping out for many years. Other people have come and gone over the five years that I've been here, but those two have always been there.
Since I can't cook I arrive between 6:30 and 7:00. Just in time to meet the rush of dirty dishes. Normally we get 80-120 guests plus 10-20 volunteers. That's a lot of food and a lot of dirty dishes, cutlery and pots and pans. Normally Michael and I will switch between running the dishwasher and scrubbing the pots and pans in the sink beside it. Various people will sort and put away the clean dishes for us. Usually it's Harim, Micheal's fiancée Nicole or John. If Trevor is around washing dishes I'll help put the clean ones away. At the height of the dishwashing frenzy it can be a madhouse in our area. Stay out of the way or you might get bowled over by one of us rushing in with a trolley full of dirty dishes or rushing out with the clean ones.
Our system has evolved over the months. Now the end is all but upon us. We had a good year. Hopefully I'll see some familiar faces helping out next winter. I won't be surprised if I don't though. There is a bit of turn around understandably.
Take care my friends. Have a great summer. To view a few more photos click here.