One of the most important things that a human being must have in order to thrive is a healthy body, which inevitably equals a healthy mind. Without food and nutrients, the body does not function well.
Last Friday was the first time I ran the Red River College Christmas Hamper giveaway. On that day, we were able to give out hampers to 50 students and families. These hampers were filled with enough presents and food to last many weeks.
One of the regular food bank clients had to sit down and re-group when she realized we had 11 large boxes and one massive present for her family. Eleven large boxes filled with food, but also filled with hope. Being a new immigrant to Canada with 3 children, things generally did not come easy.
“I am in shock” she says, when she gets shown into the room with her hampers.
The work that Red River College is doing at the food bank not only represents the positive aspects of such an operation, it also represents the optimistic future of anyone who is currently struggling.
Those who use food banks should not be grouped into a category of lazy, unemployed people with no aspirations or goals; they should be grouped into a category of people who are doing the best they can with what they have, and working hard every day to change the cards they were dealt in their lives.
A couple of years ago as I was sitting at my Thanksgiving dinner with family, I realized that I was able to do so under a solid roof, with more than enough food to feel extremely full. I had people around me that loved me, and I was attending school and gaining an education. Although we were very poor, receiving that dinner was one of the major focuses of our yearly savings as a family.
At the time I was young, but that was the starting point to my dedication and commitment to helping other human beings. As I put my plate in the sink, I looked at all of the leftovers and the idea came to me.
I grabbed 30 plastic plates and began filling them with how much I would have taken for myself. I warmed everything up, attached a crate to the back of my bicycle, and rode tirelessly around the roughest neighbourhoods in Winnipeg handing out plates to the homeless living on the street.
To this day the amount of people who know I did that can be counted on one hand.
Seeing the reaction on their faces and the acknowledgement of my help in their words of thanks, will be the only recognition I would ever seek.
Following that adventure, I began to be inspired by humanism, altruism, and selflessness. This sparked my view that in life we must give to others without expecting anything back.
Inspiring those around us stimulates dialogue and promotes happiness, as well as encourages everyone to believe that they are able to reach their highest potential.
Today, tomorrow, and every day from now on I think of myself as someone who is able to make a positive difference in the lives of those around me. Whether it be a smile, a progressive acknowledgment or an open-minded gesture, I continuously tell myself that the smallest difference can make the largest impact.