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Roxy

Volunteering at a soup kitchen - good idea or setting myself up for a fall?

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Anyone ever volunteered in one? I don't know how my brain will deal with so much going on.. I want to help, and apparently you get to meet nice people who are also wanting to help.. so seems a good idea as I want to do something to help other people.

 

I donate blood regularly, but I get bored and would rather do something so I don't get depressed if you know what I mean?

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I've done that, i found it very rewarding. I worked in the food preparation area as I was better at following the cooks orders than dealing with the clients, but I did a little of that too. I was warned some of the people might be aggressive or difficult due to being under the influence of drunk or drugs, but I never experience that. The few squabbles I witnessed were always with people who recognised someone from the street and had a resentment or debt. They kept the squabbles to themselves though and they were never directed at the staff who they were largely  grateful towards as they were offering free food and support. To be blunt, the worst thing about the work for me was having to deal with the smell of lots of unwashed people in a closed dining area. I don't say that in a judgemental way, it's just a fact, I really struggled with the mix of overpowering body odour. I found if I rushed straight through to the kitchen and around the cooking food, that helped me to acclimatise and after half an hour or so it was manageable. I'm only mentioning that as some Aspies have sensory issues around strong smells, and it might be a bit unfair not to mention it. Apart from that, you will meet some very nice, genuine people, who really do want to help others for no reward. One thing about the work I found, is regardless of how down or depressed I felt before I went, it really sinks in how much worse off some people are and how for some people daily life is not just a struggle, but a battle to stay alive one more day. 

 

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I recall the Columbo episode where the leutenant visited a Mission to track down a murder witness. He was mistaken by the nuns as a down and out. They gave him some soup.

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Anyone ever volunteered in one? I don't know how my brain will deal with so much going on

I suppose you could always start with minimum hours initially.

I used to volunteer in a day centre for elderly people.

Overall it was a good experience.  

I would be tired afterwards due to efforts of trying to follow interactions, but it was worthwhile and an experience that 30 yrs later I still value

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