musings of a malcontent

seattle native, teacher w/out a classroom, bookkeeper, drinker of coffee and red wine, a constant work in progress

You Have to Bloom Where You’re Planted

to share a passion with someone is a great thing. there’s no trying to explain WHY you like what you’re doing. there’s no need to explain frustrations and joys and sacrifices that it requires, because they get it. there’s no need to justify your motives because they are the same. I’m not sure exactly where my love of the ‘foodbank demographic’ came from. best I can figure, is it started when I was the event coordinator for a youth group I worked with for a while. we went on a trip down to the Dreamcenter down in LA. it was my first real hands-on experience working with the homeless and poor and relatively forgotten population. it moved me in ways I wasn’t aware of at the time. my job on that trip was also to keep track of kids, so my attention was split. but, the seed had been planted. my 3 hour shift on Mondays down at the foodbank is quite truthfully the most well-spent and rewarding 3 hours of my week and I usually look forward to it a lot. sometimes it’s hard though. there are weeks that are frustrating because the attitude of the patrons is bad, which makes me go down that road of “what are we here for, these people are all takers and are doing nothing to better themselves.” sometimes I spend time trying to explain to people who don’t understand why I’d want to be down there with these people, and as clearly as I may think I’m being, they just don’t get it which makes me wonder if I’m crazy for doing it. and some weeks, like this week, it’s uplifting and wonderful. I heard a quote from a radio host yesterday that I love. I’ve heard it before but in context to what I’ve been processing lately regarding the ‘foodbank demographic’ and such, it was very timely and worth repeating: “You have to bloom where you’re planted.” I’ve been planted in an area where there is this need. everyone has their things that get them excited, not everyone’s is this. but it’s mine. and so I must do it. one of the most rewarding parts for me has been meeting the fellow volunteers and the staff I work with down at the Northwest Harvest foodbank on Cherry St. it makes me feel like what I’m helping with matters, which is encouraging when I’m feeling down or uncertain about it. a student at a local college did a video for one of her classes on the foodbank, featuring 3 of the employees and loaded with pictures of my fellow volunteers and the patrons themselves. I thought it was wonderful and worth sharing. I truly love these people and what they do and they sum up how I feel but can rarely articulate myself:

I couldn’t get the video to post directly to my blog but if you click the YouTube link it takes you right there…


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2 thoughts on “You Have to Bloom Where You’re Planted

  1. While I can’t say that I’m exactly “passionate” about the sandwich route I’m helping with here in Madrid, I do find that it’s rewarding and I feel like it’s the right thing for me to be doing at this time. A new guy showed up on the route last week. He looked so confused when my friend Karen and I greeted him and asked if he needed anything. He was German, and spoke excellent English, so I could do more than just listen and try to understand 🙂 In the end, he didn’t want a sandwich or a bottle of water, but we had a great conversation and I left feeling blessed and encouraged.

    Also, we’ve been collecting hotel soaps and shampoos and stuff to give away. They’re the perfect size, and (best of all) free. Someone gave us some sample-sized body lotions from bath and body works, or some such place. The vast majority of the people we encounter on our route are men, but there is one woman that is usually there. The look of sheer joy on her face when we gave them to her was… amazing. Simply amazing.

  2. Jeanette on said:

    Thank you for sharing this video. I share your feelings for working at Cherry St. It makes me feel good thinking I can help someone in some small way, and the people there, like you, are amazing.

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