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Someone Cares Soup Kitchen and the faces of hunger

Being an OC FAMILY blogger has given me many opportunities. While the perks such as going to Disneyland or watching a movie premiere are fun, what is truly wonderful is getting the opportunity to serve.

Photo by Suz Broughton

Last week, with my fellow bloggers, we volunteered at the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa.  I am not new to volunteering and I’ve made food for a soup kitchen but I’ve never served the meals before. Let me tell you that it was a humbling and eye opening experience.
Perhaps because I grew up in a third world country, I’d become desensitized to the face of hunger. In the Philippines, there are hungry and homeless kids on the street  every day.  They beg, sing, dance, sell candy or what not as they dart between cars in traffic.  They smile through it all, they were born to poverty and while it is sad, that they may not get out of it, it is the truth.

The thing is, it is hard to relate poverty, hunger and homelessness with America, the land of plenty, the land of opportunity.  And perhaps it is this that was most startling for me at the soup kitchen — the faces.  They weren’t the skinny malnourished street urchins I knew but regular people. There were seniors, boomers and young ones — there was a self-confessed Berkeley hippie from the old days, a group of young guys who looked like they could be the next big band (yeah, we are musicians, they told me), a professionally dressed couple who asked us to please not take any pictures.  The economic recession has undoubtedly brought new faces to the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen and Tutoring Program, whose mission is simple: “to feed a daily nutritional meal to the homeless, the unemployed, the working poor, the mentally challenged, the physically challenged, the senior citizens and most important of all — the children.”

After updating my Facebook status about volunteering, many people stepped forward and asked “How can I help?”

Here are a few ideas:

Consider making a financial donation. Give the gift of a warm, nutritious meal for $1.33 this season.

Donate socks, warm coats and toys.

Donate anything from toiletries to blankets, plates, cups, shirts, socks etc to be included in the 450 backpacks they are putting together for the holidays.

To make a donation or get involved in the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen Holiday Campaign, please visit www.OCSoupKitchen.org or call 949-548-8861

Check out OC METRO Blogger Albert Ornelas’ video about the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen.

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