Over 100 people volunteer every month at Santa Maria Urban Ministry, distributing food to the hungry, teaching preschool, helping with homework and computers, giving family counseling, and (in due season) helping with taxes, along with other programs, as well as management and administrative duties. Last Saturday, after a dozen of us met at Britannia Arms to help move 700 Turkeys for the needy, all of the SMUM volunteers were invited to Thanksgiving lunch at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in San Jose. We had chow mein noodles and fried rice and turkey and ham and beans and green salad and fruit salad, and our favorite tres leches cake.
Most of the teams were represented and we enjoyed talking with people who work different shifts. John and I have been after-school homework and computer teachers for the last three years, Thursdays 4-6 pm with the Studio program. We know the Tuesday afternoon Studio teachers but we rarely see the food warehouse workers or the registration desk team or the ABC Playtime teachers.
Rev. Lawrence Robles (SMUM Executive Director) and his wife Carmen (Manager of the warehouse) and Alfonso Mendez (Office Manager) gave each volunteer a bookmark remembrance with their thanks for our service. Some people volunteer in so many roles at SMUM that they had trouble picking which group picture to join. SMUM is blessed by the support of the many generous people who donate money and food but most valuable of all, their time and talents, to support the transformation of our community.
Pictures from Brittania Arms’ “Brit Turkey Drive”:
Images Copyright 2010 by Katy Dickinson