I was asked to share my thoughts about Project WARM, why I volunteer and what it means to me. I have put much thought to these questions, there are many reasons, but the most important answer is that it is what God wants us to do. I remember hearing about a new outreach project last fall at Clay Church called Project WARM. I was interested right from the start for many reasons. I had been looking for something that I could do giving to others, I have a gift for cooking for the multitudes and I knew that there was a need.
I will tell you that from the start my faith in this ministry has been constant. Wondering if we would have enough meals provided, enough warm socks, etc. and this summer concerns about needing a new location. My faith is strong and I know without a doubt that when we are doing God’s will and His work He will provide. I like to equate Project WARM to the quote from Field Of Dreams, “Build it and he will come”. The volunteers came…the food came…the donations came and most important our guests came.
The second night that I came to Project WARM I was asked by a guest if I was afraid to be there. I told him that I was not afraid to be there, that I was there because I wanted to be. It was so interesting and amazing to see the relationships build from week to week.
I love those men…every single soul that walked through the door! They are in my heart and prayers forever.
If you are thinking of volunteering I will give you my best advice. Don’t be afraid. Smile. Meet these men where they are at, some will be more willing to talk than others. Leave any judgments and preconceived ideas at the door. Pray with and for these men.
If you are considering preparing and bringing food, I have a few thoughts. When I am cooking for our guests I think of them as being my dinner guests and what would I serve them if they were coming to my home.
I use the time while I am cooking to pray for the men that will come to Project WARM that night.
The men love fresh fruits and vegetables. The guests are very appreciative and thankful, they will tell you so. I had a young man apologize to me one night because he had come up for a 4th bowl of chili. I asked him not to apologize. It was wonderful knowing that my work was appreciated. He replied, “It is the only thing that I have had to eat today”.
I know one thing for sure. You will be blessed abundantly if you spend time at Project WARM.
“For it is in giving that we receive.”
-St. Francis of Assisi-
Peace and blessings