In Orange County, CA, FOCUS volunteers serve in the moment, on the front lines, meeting people’s needs. Many nonprofits, especially those that feed the hungry, have been facing uncertainty since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreaks in the US. The OC Food Bank saw over 500 volunteers cancel their service the second week of March. As a regular partner of the food bank, over 135 FOCUS Orange County volunteers sprang to action over the course of 3 weeks, and packed over 7,000 meals for senior citizens in need.
The moment called for healthy, able-bodied people to step up and assemble food for the elderly. The moment called for service, and we were able provide. Glory to God!
Since then, moments have changed. For many of us, our days are filled with activities that are drastically different than what we could have imagined a month ago. It’s important to recognize this, things are different, accept it, and then continue to show up.
Every moment we are given is a blessing (Read the recent YES blog post: All we have is today). And, more often than not, we can still find moments to share blessings with others…even during a time when community feels foreign.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” -Mother Theresa
In Orange County, the changing reality became clear to local director Irene Basdakis when she picked up her lunch from a local Subway. In what is normally a routine transaction, Irene noticed the employee serving her seemed to be troubled. She asked her if everything was ok…
While trying to keep a smile on her face, the woman shared that she was pregnant with her third child. She went on to share her hours had been reduced to six per week. On top of this, her husband had already been laid off from his job. She was worried and scared. The grocery stores had already run out of water.
Irene, along with another volunteer Ioana Aronovici, were on their way back from distributing food from the Orange County Food Bank. They had some food and water in the back of the car, and when they heard of the woman’s need they quickly went to get what they had – some fresh produce, freezer meals, and a case of water.
The woman was shocked. Her troubled mood lifted, if only for a moment, and a genuine smile of gratitude spread across her face.
“The woman still had no idea what she was going to do moving forward,” said Irene, “we didn’t fix anything but we were able to bless her so that she could feed her family a few meals.”
Things have changed, and will continue to change. But one thing will always be true…we must continue to live, and serve, in the moment.
Let us begin.
FOCUS Orange County is a local center of FOCUS North America, a national 501c3 nonprofit organization.