My World

No pictures. Just sentences.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Tale of Two Storehouses

My dad was raised in the 30's and 40's by a single mother and sometimes they needed assistance. Dad rarely spoke of it, except with disdain. He always thought highly of the LDS church and their assistance programs, because it preserved human dignity and was designed to be temporary. He also had done a lot of work at the cannery and storehouse in Los Angeles. A lot.

Around 30 years ago, Dad lost his job. This is the first time he might have had to be on the receiving end of church assistance. After some serious coaxing by his Bishop, he took a food order to the storehouse and it was not the pleasant, dignified experience he told everybody it would be. The worker was less than charitable and started going through the order, being critical of the items and amounts requested.

In addition to being hurt, he was angry. He grabbed the order and went home, storming into his Bishop's office, ripped up the order and threw it at the Bishop and walked out.

Thankfully, this Bishop was someone who knew Dad and could get through to him. He got Dad back in his office and talked to him. I was later told by my mom that Dad almost left the church over this incident, that's how upset and hurt he was. Dad was never driven from the church by upset or hurt feelings, but this came the closest. How ironic that the program my dad was such a cheerleader for, tried to fail him in his time of need!

A few weeks later, that Bishop called Dad into his office again, explaining that they had made some changes at the storehouse, and would he please go in again, not looking for trouble, to "test things out." He was to bring home any food he got. It had been fixed, and when I came home that day, I came home to more food than we had in the house when he was working.

Yesterday, I had an opportunity to volunteer at the local LDS Bishop's Storehouse in Albuquerque, NM. I had a great time helping to fill food orders, walking patrons through and assisting them with their orders, taking full grocery carts out to the cars with the patrons, etc. I enjoyed meeting a regular volunteer who comes there with her disabled son to get him some work experience. I laughed with patrons, and took care of business. It was a wonderful experience and something I would be willing to do again.

There was a few no-shows there yesterday. No judgment, no criticism, no questioning of the orders or the leaders who helped write them out. There was a beautiful spirit of love, support and dignity--just the way I would hope anyone would feel when trying to meet their family's most basic needs.

While I can't compare this experience to helping at other food banks, I was grateful to know that the Lord loves ALL his children and is there for them when they need Him.

(I brought up the first story, not to be critical of anyone/anything, but because it was heavy on my mind yesterday. I'm grateful that when we know better, we do better.)


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