By Diane Holloway
Besides dozens and dozens of devoted volunteers, Trinity Center is blessed with the service of our very own Samaritans — neighbors we have invited to help us in the kitchen. It’s an honor for them and a huge plus for us.
Recently a wonderful new trio of Samaritans joined us on Fridays, and these hard-working, perpetually smiling folks not only brighten up the kitchen but also keep the Center clean on one of our busiest days.
Karen and Eric are a twofer — a couple in life and a couple of fast-moving food preparers in our kitchen. Both have worked with food before and can whip up 70 baskets of breakfast on a Friday and 70 plates of chicken fajitas on a recent Sunday Trinity Streets service.
“Ya’ll helped me when I needed help, and I want to give back,” Karen says. “And I’m a people person, so I just like it.”
Eric feels the same way. When he’s not wheeling around the kitchen, he picks up dishes in the center so he can socialize a bit.
“I like talking to people,” he says. “I’ve got a joke for everybody. I love the staff and people who come here.”
David, who came to us from Art From the Streets, is the proverbial calm in the occasional chaos of the kitchen, always arriving early and eager to work. He has become Friday’s popcorn man, scooping out 100 bags for neighbors who come to watch the movie and even more people who just come for our fabulous popcorn.
“Why am I doing this? Trinity Center gave to me, and now that I’m in a better place, with a little stability, it’s time for me to give back,” David says. “I know what it’s like to need help, so it feels good to be able to help others.”
The Samaritans certainly aren’t the only neighbors who help us run Trinity Center. Every day several of them clean the Center before they leave — wiping down the tables, sweeping the floor, taking out the trash. They receive a sack lunch for their effort, but many of them would help us whether there was a reward or not.
The Friday Samaritans are special in that they have agreed to a specific day’s shift and are depended on to prep and serve the breakfast and take charge of any other food service during the morning. So far these newcomers have been a huge boost to us, and we are proud to have them serve beside us.