A little while ago a friend of mine had posted on facebook that she was going to be helping out at the bridge’s on Christmas eve. Serving Christmas dinner to the under privileged and the homeless. She lives in Cambridge and while I currently reside in Montreal I always come home for the holidays, this year was no exception.
So I send her a message and mentioned that I would love to help and to let me know what I can do. Christmas eve isn’t the same without my grandmother around anymore and this year I didn’t have any solid plans, so what a better way to kick start the holidays then to give back to my home town community?
My mom had asked what I was doing and when I told her, she asked if my sister and herself could tag along. I didn’t see the harm, the worst that could happen would be that they said no, they had all the help that they needed. It was a bitterly cold day and at 3:30 pm we arrived at 26 Simcoe street in Galt armed and ready. We were all put to work and banged out a turkey dinner with all the fixings, along with salad, cheese & veggie platters and some delicious looking home made desserts.
We split ourselves up into sections and made sure that everything was ready to go. Then we opened the doors to the public. There were ALL walks of life, from the young to the seemingly very old and all age groups in between. Some looked ashamed to be there, perhaps lonely… In any case, every single one of them looked grateful. I dropped their food off to their tables with a smile and a merry Christmas. Everyone said thank you and you could tell that they meant it and wished me a merry Christmas and I went on my way.
It was interesting to watch these people interact with each other. I’m always curious about human behavior and for the most part, most people seemed to be in high spirits and had a jovial attitude in spite of their circumstances, whatever they may be. The one’s that made me the most sad however were the one’s that were all alone and another one that really stood out was this young man who was only 19. Nineteen years old. It’s not right. A good thing was that there wasn’t a lot of people there, that was awesome because that meant that they had somewhere (hopefully better) to go. Even if it’s just for the night, no one should ever be alone at Christmas.
It made me think. Hard as a matter of fact. We all take things for granted in this life, it’s human nature and some things simply can not be helped. Tragic circumstances however changed things for me. When Jason died, I learned a very valuable lesson: friends are important, tell them that you love them because you never know what day could very well be their last. It was a painful lesson to have learned but it stuck with me. Helping out at the shelter however, has made me appreciate all that I have that much more.
Society as a whole these days have become driven by greed, a need for all the latest gadgets and toys among other things. We have also become quite wasteful too. It’s shameful really when you think about it. I have a really good life, I have a good career, a nice home, wonderful family and some pretty exceptional friends. After having experienced what I did last night, I could care less about what is or isn’t under the tree this year.
I have all that I need.