TEARS AT BREAKFAST
For sixteen years I have volunteered on a Wednesday morning breakfast shift at Hutt St Centre. Along with the other volunteers, who have now become friends of mine, I perform simple but important tasks like making toast, serving coffee, and washing up.
The Meal Centre is a place where people who find themselves in difficult circumstances are treated with compassion and warmth, free from judgement. Being a part of this has taught me a lot. Recently I saw a man reduced to tears when a volunteer carried his breakfast to a table because he was ill. His emotional response, “You have no idea what it means when someone as destitute as I am, meets someone who is kind to them”, was telling of the importance of the volunteer’s kindness.
Over time volunteers get to know the faces of regular visitors, for their lives revolve around Hutt St Centre. They, in return, appreciate a familiar face in their life and will comment if you have been away for a while. This kind of interaction can be a very special moment. I always leave Hutt St Centre on a Wednesday morning in a better frame of mind than when I arrived, and consider that I get far more than I give.
- Robyn Burgan.
Hutt St Centre, Volunteer