Volunteering

Kavya’s Girl Scout troop went to volunteer and tour at two local charities, Housing Forward and the Food Pantry. (Lake and Kenilworth) At the end of the tour, we landed in the kids’ closet, where they immediately huddled around the table, to hold a very important meeting. Kavya asked loudly, “Raise your hand if you think Donald Trump should be impeached!” and the girls shouted back their agreement. It kind of startled me, honestly — we haven’t been talking about impeachment at home, or really much about Trump at all, but apparently, Kavi has formed her own firm opinions on the subject, and is ready to lead her troop to revolution. All right then.

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It was great going to volunteer — the girls sorted toiletries, snacks, and clothes that we’d brought, for kits the charity gives out to homeless people (who come from other nearby neighborhoods, including Chicago, as well as from Oak Park). There were funny/sad bits, like seeing the old church safe stuffed with diapers.

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Not funny, just sad, was seeing how many people were waiting for the food pantry. Hundreds of people, including many families, who had been there for hours, waiting for their turn to be served. They’re open on Wednesdays, and apparently yesterday was their biggest day of the year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. People ‘shop’ in the donations, filling up grocery bags to take home. They’re allowed to come to this pantry once a month, but there are others they’re directed to if they’ve used their time here. Lots of the local groceries and restaurants donate food.

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I’ve been wanting to find local charities to get more involved with, to take the kids to regularly. We’re not churchgoers, and I want to make sure we build some time into their lives to think about compassion and helping those less fortunate. I think these two organizations might be the ones for us.

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