Team "MO,CO" walked to New Bethany Ministries to assist with serving a midday meal and sorting donations int the warehouse. The post below is from Jen '17, one of first-year student program participants.
After splitting into two groups at New Bethany, the group led by Jenn '13, remained in the kitchen and prepared the food for lunch. With the instruction of a woman named Penny and a professor at Lehigh University, Roy, we cut up and washed all the vegetables for the extra large salad, and were surprised by the unusually large locally grown cucumbers! After prepping the salad, we laid out slices of bread on trays, which was definitely the simplest step. With the instruction of a leader who could not speak, we struggled to prepare the desserts properly, but were proud of how well we communicated with her. As a team, we understood her instructions and fixed our mistake with optimism and diligence. We had some extra time before the meal was scheduled to be served to the patrons of New Bethany and the freshmen bonded and learned more about Moravian College and Bethlehem as a whole from Jenn. Most of us would agree that serving was the most rewarding part of the experience. Everyone was so appreciative of our service and with every “thank you” all we could do was smile and be proud of our good teamwork and cooperation. As cliché as it sounds, it was so rewarding to see people leave with full bellies and smiles on their faces knowing that we contributed to their good day. The two smaller Moravian groups switched places so we could eat, and we got a chance to interact with some of the people there, all of whom were very respectful and grateful. It is truly amazing how the daily workers at the soup kitchen have such great success with having to train new volunteers everyday, but they are clearly very good at what they do and enjoy doing it. This appreciation spread to us and thus, we had a rewarding day. During a reflection of the day, what most of us agreed on as the greatest accomplishment is one of our members, sophomore team leader Michelle '16 signed up to return to the soup kitchen as a volunteer. She enjoyed her time at the soup kitchen and warehouse so much that she wanted to make it part of her weekly routine.