Today was a day of new experiences... for starters we welcomed a new group yesterday so today was our first day of being together at ministry sites and working. This also brought about a new experience because this was my first time to visit the particular site we worked with. We went to the Salvation Army Service Center in the morning, and this was in and of itself an interesting experience. We started our time there in two separate groups: I was with the group that was sorting clothing, and the other half of the group sorted through boxes of toys. The ironic thing about the way the volunteer coordinator split up the group was that he put two guys and a girl in the group sorting toys, and me, the other girl, one guy and the male leader in charge of sorting the clothing. Did I mention we were sorting women's clothing? Yeah... that made it particularly interesting. We basically took huge bins of women's clothing and sorted it into sizes. Now many of these were items that the tags had been ripped out of, so they were without the official sizes in them. For us girls, this wasn't a huge problem, we just eyeballed it, and determined size and put them in their respective locations... for the guys however this was nothing short of hilarious. We finally determined that the best way to help them figure out sizes was to put it into a perspective they could understand. If it would fit him, it was a large... if it would fit his brother, it was a small... anything in between was a medium. This escapade got even more humorous considering that 85% of the clothes he pulled out of the bin he was working on was a tube top, or some form of strapless dress... oh yeah... it was great! and hilarious!
Once we completed our time in this area, we took a break, then resumed working with new positions. We took bottles of lotion, like the trial size ones found in hotel rooms, and combined them to make sure the bottles are full. We would then clean off the outside to make sure they looked brand new, then we put them in a bin that would later be sorted and combined for hygiene kits for distribution at a later time. It was tedious and at moments frustrating (like when a broken bottle disintegrated and exploded all over me), but in the end it was great to know that we were doing work that would eventually help people in the end. Big picture projects and ministry sites are cool because it's nice to know that despite the fact that we don't (and probably never will) see the people this is impacting, we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves... and isn't that kind of the point?
-Mandie, CSM San Francisco Bay Area Spring 2010 City Host
Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in the San Francisco Bay Area!