By Diane Holloway
Drew Sneed, a sophomore majoring in economics and math at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, volunteered with us twice a week during the summer. Usually we prefer not to bring in students, who may drop in once or twice but quickly depart for fun with friends. And who can blame them? But we need people who can commit to us on a regular basis.
Drew was persistent. He came and stayed, monitoring computers for us on Wednesdays and doing anything and everything in the kitchen on Fridays — prepping food, serving food, cleaning up after food, hauling trash. Seriously, he did it all in his double-duty time with us. A quiet presence, he was always smiling and eager to help, especially if it meant interacting with the neighbors.
“I’ve never done anything like this before, and it’s been really great,” he said in a shy, impromptu exit interview on a crazy-busy Friday.
Any life lessons learned? “How fragile life is. A lot of these people once had everything and then they lost it.”
Drew says he has already experienced seeing neighbors on the streets and recognizing them by name. Sitting in the tiny computer area, he was able to connect with folks one-on-one and get to know them.
“The people are really gracious,” he said. “And spiritual. I really saw some growth potential for me there.”
Drew will remain on our volunteer roster so that he can join us when he comes home for winter and spring breaks. We are grateful for his gift of service and can’t wait to welcome him back with us soon!