St. Joseph Parish Food Pantry - Springfield, Missouri
Leon - Volunteer
When I started volunteering about four years ago I always thought, oh, you know there are signs for, we need workers, we need this; I said – get a job. I've learned that there are people who can't work and grandparents raising their grand kids, we've got quite a few of those. I ask them, “you're sixty years old and you're got a three year old?” and they say “I'm raising my children's children because they are in jail or they just abandoned them, or they're living with me too.”
It's amazing how many people come to us with different problems, it makes me think that most problems I have aren't that bad.
Teresa - Volunteer - When I retired, I needed something to fill in, I was looking for a worthwhile cause. This is my parish so that was a factor, doing good and giving back. I look at these people like “there but for the grace of god”... none of us know what their lives are like, what turns, twists...there are some well- educated people, people in nice cars, we don't know their story and we don't have to know.
Susan - Volunteer - My brother and I were looking to do this but we didn't want to go somewhere that they didn't help the homeless. St. Joe was one of the few organizations that would help the homeless. Doing this opens your eyes.
Daniel - A few years ago, I used to judge everybody, by the the way they look, dressed, acted; there's no sense in it. Stay positive, have a positive attitude, have positive outcomes. Have negative attitudes, have negative outcomes. That's how I see it.
I try to help when I can, whoever it is. All I know is that I do what I can for whoever.
Without some kind of ID, some food pantries won't let you get food. A lot of homeless don't have ID's, social security cards or birth certificate and stuff like that because they lose them because they're homeless. I was there once. I kind of still am. I still stay here and there. Right now I am in a house, they just don't have any electrical or water, I guess it still is being somewhat homeless. I've got a little butane heater to heat water up, its rough right now. My girlfriend is sick, she has a cyst on her ovaries the size of a grapefruit and she won't have surgery for three months. She can't really do anything so all of the running, working, and money coming in is just me right now. This bicycle is my only transportation.
Frank - I come here every Tuesday, been coming for about 9 months, and this has been helping me out big time.
I'm on social security which doesn't give very much money. My dog's name is Lucky, he's spoiled too, I try to make him happy.