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Old 07-26-2009, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Western Hoosierland
18,264 posts, read 6,949,526 times
Reputation: 5943

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Recently I have started to volunteer at the local churches and help pass out food and clothing to those who are less fortunate. Well this Saturday I was doing just that at a local church and I was just appauled at how the people were behaving. I mean they were acting like savages.

This is what happened last Saturday: sorry it's a little long

The food pantry opens it's doors at 9AM. At 8:30 their were already 24 people in line. At that time number tickets were going to be distributed. When the people that were giving out the tickets got to the exterior doors to distribute the tickets to the people they were all gathering up around the door blocking access from everyone. They had to yell for the people to make way so they could get through and distribute the tickets. When handing out the tickets to the people others snatched tickets from the distributors' hands so they could get a better spot. By the time they were at the end of the line their was around 80 people in line. Okay so the doors opened at 9AM sharp. The people were lead into the holding area where they could get extras( like bread and sweets). Their were 11 tables completely filled with goods. At 9:15 those tables were empty.After getting sweets and bread the people are allowed to move to the hallway to get fruits,veggies,dairy products, and school supplies while they wait for their number to be called. One guy knocked the milk crates over to get milk( luckily only 3 jugs broke)( after that we had to guard the milk crates so people would keep their pawing hands away) Then not long after that someone hit this small child with a cart(Not sure if it was boy or girl..heard their cries from the other room because I was helping review the applications from new applicants) all I know is they were bruised.

The Clothing Shop didn't go over much better. Several racks were knocked down.

It was absolute madness. I hope it just happened to be a bad day and not how people usually act at Church food pantries.

Does anyone else here volunteer at churches? Is something like this common at these things? Or is this just an unfortunate isolated event?

Can anyone share any stories of similar events at church related functions?
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,027,829 times
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I could share similar stories from disaster relief after major events, such as hurricanes, ice storms and floods, but what would be the point? People are just people, wherever you go, and just because you're there out of some magnificent, altruistic urge to serve your fellow man (and, good for you!) doesn't mean they are.

Those are the people we serve, so...we serve them.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:47 PM
 
1,592 posts, read 2,997,737 times
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These are people who are at the bottom of their rope -- they may have gotten there due to some of the socially unacceptable behaviors you witnessed first hand, such that they couldn't hold down a job. We are commanded, however, to take the high road and choose to love -- as difficult as that can be.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:25 PM
 
173 posts, read 280,852 times
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I am a church volunteer and have also volunteered in other organizations outside church, and can honestly say that I've never encountered anything like this. Perhaps it's because I'm from a country where law, order and cleanliness are taken seriously. The beneficiaries of your church generosity seem to push their rights a tad too extreme at the expense of violating peace and order and hurting little children. Perhaps the church should spend more time praying before such events. Perhaps the whole event could have been better organised and better managed. The organising committee could discuss ways to impose some orderly behaviour so as to ensure that nobody gets hurt, nothing is damaged, and most important of all, only the genuinely needy people get the items.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,261 posts, read 6,233,863 times
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Hi gdude...my sweet friend.

I can relate.

Maybe I can offer some advice, this seemed to help at our church...we decided to serve...and I mean serve...as in like not allowing people to have free access to anything...making them line up and act like civilized human beings...in order, and serving them everything right down to the last apple. Everybody gets the same amount of everything, no exceptions. Have someone make a poster, and post the rules just outside the door of what is expected of them if they wish to be participants...and what behavior will not be put up with. Remember...the things of God are in order...there is order in serving God. If they act like animals...you must have the men there to usher them out...taking care of those who desperately need what you are offering...without them being in fear of being harmed in any way. You and your fellow servants do not have to put up with that, not at all.
We have found that since we have the people to serve the line...and the male presence to handle unruly people, the experience has been nothing short of a blessing for all concerned...including the little ones who need it most. Safety and security for them is the most important...and the elderly and the little children should be first to be served...period.
The way it was for you this day is not the way it should be...too dangerous...take control of the situation and you'll find what a rewarding experience it can and should be...for all.

I love you my friend!
Verna.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:00 AM
 
5,733 posts, read 4,579,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verna Perry View Post
Hi gdude...my sweet friend.

I can relate.

Maybe I can offer some advice, this seemed to help at our church...we decided to serve...and I mean serve...as in like not allowing people to have free access to anything...making them line up and act like civilized human beings...in order, and serving them everything right down to the last apple. Everybody gets the same amount of everything, no exceptions. Have someone make a poster, and post the rules just outside the door of what is expected of them if they wish to be participants...and what behavior will not be put up with. Remember...the things of God are in order...there is order in serving God. If they act like animals...you must have the men there to usher them out...taking care of those who desperately need what you are offering...without them being in fear of being harmed in any way. You and your fellow servants do not have to put up with that, not at all.
We have found that since we have the people to serve the line...and the male presence to handle unruly people, the experience has been nothing short of a blessing for all concerned...including the little ones who need it most. Safety and security for them is the most important...and the elderly and the little children should be first to be served...period.
The way it was for you this day is not the way it should be...too dangerous...take control of the situation and you'll find what a rewarding experience it can and should be...for all.

I love you my friend!
Verna.

Great advice!
There must be order for everyone's safety.

A few people can ruin it for everyone. Once people start pushing and grabbing then if a person is needy, instincts are going to kick in and they are going to try to get what they can before others take it all. No matter how nice a person is... when your family is without, and here you have someone helping you, then it looks like someone might be taking that help FROM you... well, we're just human, right?

Again, Verna had excellent advice.
Keep it orderly, keep it safe for all involved.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Western Hoosierland
18,264 posts, read 6,949,526 times
Reputation: 5943
Quote:
Originally Posted by Verna Perry View Post
Hi gdude...my sweet friend.

I can relate.

Maybe I can offer some advice, this seemed to help at our church...we decided to serve...and I mean serve...as in like not allowing people to have free access to anything...making them line up and act like civilized human beings...in order, and serving them everything right down to the last apple. Everybody gets the same amount of everything, no exceptions. Have someone make a poster, and post the rules just outside the door of what is expected of them if they wish to be participants...and what behavior will not be put up with. Remember...the things of God are in order...there is order in serving God. If they act like animals...you must have the men there to usher them out...taking care of those who desperately need what you are offering...without them being in fear of being harmed in any way. You and your fellow servants do not have to put up with that, not at all.
We have found that since we have the people to serve the line...and the male presence to handle unruly people, the experience has been nothing short of a blessing for all concerned...including the little ones who need it most. Safety and security for them is the most important...and the elderly and the little children should be first to be served...period.
The way it was for you this day is not the way it should be...too dangerous...take control of the situation and you'll find what a rewarding experience it can and should be...for all.

I love you my friend!
Verna.

Thanks for the advice

The church does have a policy of only letting 10 people inside the building at a time but that only works when it's warm out. You can't have people outside when it's cold and raining which is almost all the time. Which upsets things being orderly. I'll see if the other volunteers will take the advice. I'll have to let you guys know how next Saturday goes.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Wherever women are
19,022 posts, read 24,678,000 times
Reputation: 11309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Verna Perry View Post
Hi gdude...my sweet friend.

I can relate.

Maybe I can offer some advice, this seemed to help at our church...we decided to serve...and I mean serve...as in like not allowing people to have free access to anything...making them line up and act like civilized human beings...in order, and serving them everything right down to the last apple. Everybody gets the same amount of everything, no exceptions. Have someone make a poster, and post the rules just outside the door of what is expected of them if they wish to be participants...and what behavior will not be put up with. Remember...the things of God are in order...there is order in serving God. If they act like animals...you must have the men there to usher them out...taking care of those who desperately need what you are offering...without them being in fear of being harmed in any way. You and your fellow servants do not have to put up with that, not at all.
We have found that since we have the people to serve the line...and the male presence to handle unruly people, the experience has been nothing short of a blessing for all concerned...including the little ones who need it most. Safety and security for them is the most important...and the elderly and the little children should be first to be served...period.
The way it was for you this day is not the way it should be...too dangerous...take control of the situation and you'll find what a rewarding experience it can and should be...for all.

I love you my friend!
Verna.


Yes. Lining them up is a prime necessity. I've even been to prisons with my Dad and the jailers do line them up and have big sticks and even rifles for an emergency.

We either make boxes of food with equal amounts or give out equal amount of food in a line. Whatever the case, the line and order is a necessity.

Some of the churches have huge waste grounds which serve as wasteland or general grazing ground for cattle and we erect temporary tents which can house 400 to 500 people.

My parents get a cooking team, they slay chicken, goats and cows in huge numbers and they prepare a big meal. So, for lunch we end up feeding 500 people from a hospice or the orphanage. My father does this on important days like March 19 or May 1 or June 13, the feasts of Saint Joseph, Saint Antony etc.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:26 AM
 
Location: NC
11,918 posts, read 13,814,338 times
Reputation: 1323
Every one has given good advice. I was wondering gdude if this was the first time this congregation has done this in this area? Hopefully, they will consider what happened and make plans so that things go smoother the next time. God bless.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:38 AM
 
Location: The #1 sunshine state, Arizona.
12,172 posts, read 15,006,838 times
Reputation: 64014
I volunteered at a food pantry. The volunteers worked behind a counter filling bags and boxes for people needing food. I'm sure we would have been wiped out in a matter in minutes had people been given direct access to the pantry shelves. Prior to selecting food items, volunteers would ask how many people we in the family and if there were any dietary restrictions.

Our clothing closet was out in the open and many people did leave a mess after making their selections.
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