Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunday Morning

The Caravan of Dreams...
...or, all of us lined up to go to the Community Center.

When we were in Indiana, Sunday morning, we went with some of our Indiana relatives to serve breakfast at a community center on the east side of Indianapolis. This was the brain child of my mom and her brother, my uncle, who I call Unk. They thought it would be nice to do something good for others as a family. Then, my mom did a lot of research to find something that kids could participate in, and then, thanks to someone else canceling, she was able to schedule it when we were home.

It was so funny - she sent this email to the whole family - it said, "Good news! The family scheduled to work at the community center on Dec. 28th had to cancel!" I know she meant we would be able to all work together when we were in town and she was excited about it. But, the sentence on it's own made me laugh out loud. "Whew - someone canceled on feeding the needy. Close call." Funny.


Some of the food.

The center serves a community that is very low income. Buses go around to pick up the residents and bring them to the center so they can have regular meals.




And more food.

We provided one of these meals. Breakfast. The center tells you what to buy, and about how many people they usually serve. It being a holiday weekend, we figured we'd either have hardly any people or tons. When we arrived, on a very cold, blustery morning, there was some issue with getting the door unlocked. I had some time to shoot those food photos. We froze for a brief moment. Then, we went inside.


It was a nice, well-stocked commercial kitchen.


We went right to work once we got inside.
That's Bevi, Unk's better half, and Unk unloading groceries over there.


S and I lined up these french toast sticks to be baked.


Steve and mom got the sausage ready for the oven.
The sausage is apparently a favorite.

The kids helped put out the cereal...

...didn't they do a great job?


The kids also helped put out the drinks.
Bevi and Deacon are lining them up in this photo.


S cooked the french toast sticks and sausage in these here ovens.
And he wore that manly oven mitt very well, yes?


There were also apples and bananas to cut up.
Lori, Unk's daughter and my cousin, and Unk really enjoyed that task.


Then it was time for the community to arrive.
Bevi made last minute preparations...
(that's Isaiah, Lori's son)

...and the kids took their places.
(the two older girls are volunteers, but not related to us)


Cora, not being much of an early bird, (and 4) wasn't too into all of it...


...but the other kids really enjoyed serving.
Bevi and Lori were on french toast stick and sausage detail.


During a break in the action, Deacon told Bevi the ways of the world.


Unk, S and Mom visited in the kitchen.

As it turned out, the crowd was light. This allowed for some down time - we gabbed in the kitchen, catching up and passing the time.

Terri, still-not-awake Cora, and Steve.

Then, when it was evident we were going to have LOTS of food left over, the kids sat down to have some breakfast. After they ate, Bevi single-handedly kept them all engaged, as you can see below.

Bevi and her posse: Isaiah, Veda, Cora and Deacon.


After everything was cleaned up, everyone washed their hands with soap.
And we went home.

This activity was new for us this year - we did it in lieu of a gift exchange, thanks to Unk and Mom coming up with that plan - we spent money we would normally have spent on gifts on the food for this breakfast. We already have too much stuff - it was a good use of the funds. And, a good way to give back to the community, to remember how fortunate we are, and to spend time together as a family. It was a good new holiday tradition.

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