On February 4, a team of 10 determined Andreans headed to the Good Shepherd Mission in downtown Toronto to help sort through “tons” of donated food.
Throughout this awesome and eye-opening experience, we also learned how the Good Shepherd Mission supports the local community through a wide range of programs.
We began our experience by going on a tour of the dormitories. There we saw a well-maintained floor with 30 bunkbeds, each in a separate “cubical-like” room. These were the emergency beds open to anyone in need; from initial registration at 5:30 p.m. to a hot breakfast at 7:30 a.m. the next morning.
After the tour, we went to the basement to begin sorting cans. On our way downstairs, we found out that the mission staff wash over a hundred bed linens daily to ensure everyone has a clean bed to sleep on. In addition, every man who comes to stay the evening receives a clean towel and high-quality soap and shampoo. Interestingly, the Good Shepherd Mission partners with Toronto hotels, who donate unused or unfinished soap bottles and shampoo. This gives those in need a clean shower with great products. To continue the tradition of giving, we also donated some of our lunch money to the Mission, so that they could continue providing those in need with exceptional services.
During the sorting process, we went through box upon box of food, all of which had been generously donated at Christmastime. It was great to see that so many people were willing to donate so much delicious food. The process for organizing the food was quite simple: we sorted blue boxes filled with all types of food items into boxes with similar food items.
After a day of sorting and stacking, everyone met at the Mission’s cafeteria to enjoy a home-cooked meal. Chili and chicken always hits the spot on a cold day. Then we went downstairs for a final time to appreciate how much work it takes to keep the shelter running without a flaw.