Entry: Week 10-Gettysburg Community Soup Kitchen-Hannah Wevodau Dec 1, 2017

Today was an especially cheerful day at the soup kitchen. One of the visitors I have become close with has secured a new job in the kitchen of a local restaurant! While he still must stay in the C.A.R.E.S. shelter, the new job is bringing a great deal of hope. Another regular visitor had good news as well, informing all of us that she had recently secured housing. In her words “They say it’s the projects or something like that but it’s great I love it. It’s my own space.” There was also an overabundance of donations to fill the basket three times and for all the visitors to pick two items. I think this surplus in donations is partially due to the increase in altruism that seems to spark during the holiday season. I wish this same magnitude in compassion was a year round affair, and not simply a seasonal urge to improve the lives of others resulting from the generous attitudes promoted during the holiday season. Then again, I’m not sure I am in any position to criticize the motivations of others to aid those experiencing poverty since, prior to coming to Gettysburg, I had little to no awareness of the ways I was able to help these individuals, let alone the hardships they face. Coming up on the end of the semester I am struck by how drastically my worldview has shifted in terms of the way I view poverty. I have become close with so many of the individuals experiencing the strife of homelessness and poverty in America. Their stories and friendships have illuminated a world to which I was previously entirely oblivious. In reading Stringer’s Grand Central Winter this week I have found myself thinking over the severity of the public neglect those experiencing homelessness are subject to as a result of the ignorance present in most privileged individuals. In Stringer’s words, “Mostly I am anonymous, Invisible. They see a phenomenon to which they have already adjusted. I make no deeper impression on their consciousness than the taxicabs, endlessly cruising outside, do on the pedestrians (46). I feel ashamed that I was once this oblivious. To think that I may have once looked down on these individuals with whom I have become friends makes me feel disturbed and disappointed in myself. I am so thankful for everything I have learned this semester and for those individuals who have made such an immense impact on my worldview. I am not looking forward to this class ending and I don’t plan on ever straying from the Gettysburg Community Soup Kitchen.


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