AYUDH CT: Everyone In the World Should Eat To Their Fill
“Extending help without expecting anything in return is real service. It is the power that sustains the world. To love and serve with dedication can be compared to a circle, for a circle has no beginning or end. Love does not have a beginning or end either. Through selfless service, we can construct a bridge of love to bring us all together.” -Amma
On November 30th and December 14th, AYUDH Connecticut volunteers helped serve lunch at a local New Haven soup kitchen alongside community volunteers. They helped serve 899 meals total, 447 on November 30th and 452 on December 16th. Here is a story from one of the volunteers:
“My friends and I were serving soup and salad. As the guests sat down after getting their food, I would come up to them with a tray of salad bowls and ask if they wanted any. Some of the guests were disabled, elderly, needed assistance walking, or were carrying small children. It was really beautiful to watch how the guests helped each other out during the meal. I asked one man if he wanted any salad, but I think he was blind and also couldn’t hear well. The man next to him sort of yelled in his ear and gave him a nudge, ‘Hey Frank! (fictitious name) You want salad?’ That got his attention, and he very happily nodded yes.
The two hours went by really fast. One of my friends was serving the sweets and hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning. Another friend told me how she was feeling so bad for some of the guests, so many old and disabled people with nobody to take care of them. But by the end of the meal, she told me how she was so moved by seeing them eat to their fill–‘it made me feel full.’
As the time neared 1pm, we could finally see the end of the line. I had three more bowls of salad on my tray to serve, and that was the end. By the time the last three people found their seats, I had only one bowl left. I approached them to ask if they wanted salad, wondering if we would have enough for everyone. ‘Would you like some salad, sir?’ I asked one gentleman. ‘No thanks,’ he said. ‘Sir, would you like a bowl of salad?’ I asked another guest. He chuckled, shook his head, and pointed to his green beans, telling me he had had enough green things to eat for the day. Finally, still gripping the almost empty tray with the last bowl, I asked the last woman who sat down. ‘Would you like some salad, ma’am?’ ‘Why yes, I’d love some. Thank you!’ she said. As I served her the last bowl, I realized that there was never any reason to worry. It seems like, when we sincerely try to do good for others, all of the obstacles tend to dissolve, with help or resources coming just in time and as just enough. In Amma’s words, ‘The more you give, the more your heart is filled. Love is a never ending stream.’”