Metropolitan Ministries started as a cooperative effort among area churches to bring relief to homeless families and hungry people in the Tampa Bay area. Together they were able to accomplish more than the thirteen original churches could do individually. And that is a lesson we can all take from, and one that is at the root of what GET REAL Involved! is all about. Bringing student volunteers together for an even bigger impact than individual efforts.
GET REAL Involved! has long been a partner with Metropolitan Ministries, bringing groups there for the last three years to help with Backpacks for Hope, their back to school supplies drive, as well as each year for BOXES OF HOPE at Christmas time. But this month, our manpower was put to work moving their GED classroom across campus. We were seven students and two adults lugging boxes and equipment from the old classroom to the brand new facility across campus. The old adage many hands make light work was proven in how quickly we were able to accomplish the move.
After we finished the move, we broke up into two teams; one helped to clean the classroom furniture, and the other headed to the kitchen to give a hand there. One of our students, Kerianne Fernandez, is an old pro working with Metropolitan Ministries, and served as our guide almost as we began our stint in the kitchen. There were four of us in the kitchen and we had to wear hair nets and aprons (sorry no photos!) to insure sanitary conditions. Our new GET REAL Involved! student Jason, who is a strong young man, was recruited immediately for some heavy lifting duties, while Catherine, Kerianne and Jess were put to work filling large pots with mixed vegetables. Now, this was harder than it sounds. Met Min’s kitchen has an old table mounted can opener which requires a bit of finesse to operate. Catherine took command of this apparatus and proceeded to crush several cans before she got the hang of it. But in time, she, Kerianne and Jess has established a great rhythmic assembly line of opening, draining and dumping the cans of veggies into the pots. Jason kept the cans stocked for our assembly line, and we all were highly productive in a short 90 minutes!
Meanwhile, across campus, Jen had Alex, Andrew, Carlisle and Josh finish cleaning the classroom furniture and then they helped clean up the cafeteria as we were getting ready for lunch.
All in all it was a great and productive day, and we are looking forward to returning to Metropolitan Ministries on a regular basis to deepen our partnership.
Next month we’ll spend some more time in the kitchen as GET REAL Involved! serves at Open Arms Ministry on Sunday, March 8, 2009.
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