Teens for Unity of California Service Weekend
in Madera & Fresno
Jan. 2 & 3 2015
On January 2 2015 twelve of the teens for unity from California gathered in Madera for a weekend of service. Some of the families of the focolare living in Madera hosted us and their generosity made it possible for us to have a great weekend.
On Saturday Jan 2 we got together at the Madera Coalition for Community Justice (MCFCJ). There we spent the afternoon organizing the clothe racks and preparing food bags for low income families. We got to know some of the young members of the MCFCJ who told us about their organization and the people they serve in Madera. We also got to know some of the families by exchanging a few words and smiles as they came looking for food and clothes.
In the evening we headed to our hosting families who had prepared dinner for us. We went to bed early as we had to wake up at early to prepare breakfast for the homeless in Fresno.
At 5.30 we started peeling potatoes, beating eggs and rolling burritos. At 7.30 am we left for Fresno with over 200 hot burritos and a big pot of warm soup. Temperature was in the high twenties and there was so much frost on the fields that someone thought it was snow.
We arrived to a street full of tents and people in their sleeping bags. We parked on an empty area and started pulling out a couple of tables, the food and clothes we had brought. As we unloaded people started lining up for breakfast and some soft conversations happened. Those we came for food and clothes asked "Where are you guys coming from?" We let them know that some were from Madera some from Los Angeles. They were amazed we had come from so far and they expressed their gratitude in many different ways.
At the end most everyone had received a bowl of soup and a burrito or two and many were able to find a shirt, a pair of pants or a jacket that they needed to better fight the cold evenings on the street.
At around 9.30 am we headed back to Madera to one of the hosting families where we had breakfast, played and had a moment together to share about what we had experienced during the weekend. Below are a few of the impressions from some of the teens.
"What I like about the weekend was going and feeding the homeless. It made me feel blessed for everything I have." Kimberly G.
"What I like the most was helping the needy, which was a great first experience for me" . It made me feel blessed for everything I have." Ashley R.
"This weekend I learned how you can be happier by giving than by receiving" Victor E.
"I enjoyed meeting and giving to the poor. I liked too receiving their smiles and joy in exchange" Andrew C.
"What I liked about today were the faces of joy on those we helped. It was very eye opening to see how they live and have very little. It made me think how somethings we take for granted can be a luxury for those we met today." Justin M.
"What I liked about this weekend was the way everyone was happy to help the poor even if it was freezing. Geeting up early in the morning to cook together was very encouraging" Trixie R.
"What I learned this weekend is that I need to be more thankful for what God has blessed me with" Audrey