Salvation Army Harbour Light Soup Kitchen

Dear Mini School Parents and Students,

On January 14th, 2010, the Grade 12 Mini School class took all the funds raised at the Christmas Potluck down to the Salvation Army Harbour Light Centre when they volunteered to run the day’s food line.  This lunch service served 420 people from the downtown east side on a cold and rainy day.  Below are two metacognitions done by students about their experience:

“I really enjoyed my experience at the soup kitchen.  It reminded me of how lucky I am, and that I shouldn’t take what I have for granted.  It was really eye opening and changed my perspective, often we look at homeless people and assume that they are on drugs and thats why they are homeless, or because they are lazy, but everyone has a story.  Sometimes it just happens and it could happen to anyone.  I had a lot of fun, and all the people volunteering were really down to earth, friendly, and welcoming.  The people eating at the soup kitchen seemed happy and humble, even though they didn’t have a lot they managed to still be happy, which is something I have taken back with me.  Even though things might not always be going my way, I’m going to try my hardest to focus on the good, if people living on the streets can manage to smile and be happy than so can I.  It felt good to give back and to see where our money is going, I really want to go back and volunteer more, I forgot how much I love to volunteer and help out.  Even though I didn’t get to talk to any of the people eating there because I was helping in the kitchen, I still was able to observe.  I found it interesting how some people who came  to the soup kitchen didn’t even look homeless, if I saw them on th street I would have never guessed.  The people that were a part of the program there seemed like really nice people and its hard to imagine some of them were a part of crime but it is admirable to see them trying hard to change their lives.  It was frustrating that there was a time limit and that it cuts off at a certain time though, because some people are sent away hungry, and there was so much left over food.  It is understandable  because the building has other programs to run but its sad to think about.  Overall my experience at the soup kitchen was memorable and a lot of fun.  I really hope to go back soon and help out again!”

“Salvation Army’s Harbour Light showed me first hand some of the harsh realities people endure within their lifetimes.  It goes to show that people face day-to-day struggles that alter their lives which ultimately affects their own state of beings.  We live in a world where we are taught to retain our joys and happiness’ from loved ones around us.  In today’s society, we are also brought up to believe that money empowers us with riches that in the end give us contentment.  Our adolescent minds at this point in our lives are starting to conceive the differences between wants and need yet since the riches are within our grasp we neglect what else is out there.  We will never learn what is out there, what others face, what we might potentially face, and what could become.  All we can is obtain a clear conscience to our surroundings.  … I know myself and others are very privileged, as we seldom recognize it.  I realize there is much we can do to help others and it’s just a matter of knowing what to do and our own capabilities.  In school we’re taught knowledge from books and resources but experience like the soup kitchen let you gain a different kind of knowledge.  At the end of the day, it’s up to us to realize, recognize, and alter not only ourselves but those around us.”


About bsoong

Vice Principal at Gladstone Secondary School in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Son, husband and father. Sports and movie fan.
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