Clanking, cards shuffling, laughter, and enticing conversations; these are some of the sounds that were heard this past Friday at the MANNA soup kitchen. The atmosphere was lively and despite the lack of sunshine the past few days, everyone was in good spirits. Was it because half the city was taking the day off, making the city resemble a quiet suburb? Was it because people only had a few more days to resist the temptation of doing what they gave up for lent? Or was it because it was Friday, the day that many look forward to once Monday comes around? Whatever the reason, Good Friday resembled every other Friday at the soup kitchen except offices downtown were closed.
We had a handful of regular individual volunteers that came in and despite the fact that we served more than a hundred clients the day went smoothly. First Church of Glastonbury were the volunteers for this meal and are a regular group that volunteers with us on odd holidays such as Election Day, Columbus Day, and Good Friday. They had a wide range of ages from young children to older adults that helped to prepare the food and serve. The meal consisted of lasagna and dressed salad with a bread roll. Most of our clients and staff enjoyed the well prepared meal and some even stayed to get some of the seconds that were available.
Around 12:30pm we still had a lot of clients hanging out and playing games which usually at this time the room would start to clear up a bit. Once 1:00pm rolled around, the room began to thin down as people wrapped up their card and domino games. Clients that were waiting to use the phone got their chance and left once they were finished talking. Overall Good Friday was special for the volunteers and guests. I encourage anyone who volunteers especially on holidays to really take time out and reflect on their experiences.
Hands On Hartford AmeriCorps Member