As we draw closer to the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re taking the time to appreciate the good in our lives from loved ones and colleagues to tech careers and anything else that brings us happiness. We’re grateful for the communities that surround all of our branches, and we believe in celebrating our blessings by focusing on the community.
The colleagues of our Austin branch are no strangers to giving back. As an organization, we believe one of the most unique aspects of volunteering is how all parties involved walk away having benefitted from the experience. Modis Austin’s recent outing with Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF) was no exception.
The team arrived at the ministry’s headquarters on an unseasonably chilly Austin afternoon eager to get to work. Upon arrival, they immediately jumped into action under the guidance of Commissary Manager Trudy Six by assembling 75 ham and cheese sandwiches – stopping only to wash their hands first!
With their vast network of volunteers, MLF takes to the streets of Austin (and four other cities) with their 16 catering-style food trucks to deliver meals and other necessities to those living on or near the streets.
Typically, each truck is loaded with meat and cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fresh fruit and/or vegetables, water, coffee, hot cocoa, hard boiled eggs, potato chips, candy, cookies, socks, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and other basic hygienic products. Throughout the afternoon, several individuals stopped by to donated hats, gloves, socks, blankets and other cold weather necessities due to the sudden cold front.
In addition to ham and cheese sandwiches, the team also prepared peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and loaded the truck for the run. MLF isn’t just concerned with providing a meal – they want to provide much needed nutritional necessities like protein and fruits and vegetables when possible as well as a warm smile and friendly conversation. Donna Emery, MLF’s Development Director, explained that the common denominator for many of the homeless is a catastrophic loss of community. By providing one-on-one conversation along with other services, a sense of community has been created for many of those without one.
MLF’s shiny white and silver trucks have become a welcomed sight all around Austin to those in need. When the truck pulled up at each of the stops we visited and we honked the horn signaling our arrival, we were greeted with warm smiles from those happy to see us on the cold night. At our first stop, one of the gentleman we served thanked us by playing his guitar to entertain all around. At another stop, another gentleman brought his parrot out to say hello.
Throughout the night, a warm and gracious sentiment was shared by both the volunteers and those we served. At the core, MLF aims to help feed the hungry, but they also place emphasis on inspiring individuals to add volunteering to their lifestyle. The organization is very family-friendly and offers opportunities for volunteers of all ages. Even Modis Austin Managing Director brought his two young sons along for the truck run, and we were told by MLF’s Tricia Graham that there’s a family with 4 generations that routinely lends a hand!
What a wonderful time- I love sharing a truck run with folks who are new to our ministry. It is also such a joy to watch the little ones who serve with such grace and dignity. We are excited about having the Modis team join us for a monthly truck run to continue to serve. It is one thing to serve on a cold winter night and then to see how the needs of the homeless change throughout the year.
Donna Emery, Development Director, Mobile Loaves & Fishes
Beyond the truck run, Modis is proudly donating $3,000 to Mobile Loaves & Fishes. As a non-profit, they rely heavily on financial donations and the time of their volunteers. Interested in helping? Visit the MLF website for volunteer opportunities and donation options.
The Modis Austin team walked away from the evening very inspired – and even made plans to continue to volunteer with the organization on a continual basis. There was a deep understanding of the power of the human connection and how necessary and beneficial it is for all of us. To see all the photos of the event, view our album on Facebook.
Held annually the week before Thanksgiving, National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is a movement to promote the endeavor to end hunger and homelessness on both a local and national scale. To learn more, contribute and find an event in your area, visit the National Coalition for the Homeless website.