Friday, December 19, 2008

No Sweat

One of our programs that doesn't get much publicity is being a site for court-ordered community service. We'll take on kids or adults for a variety of reasons: disorderly conduct, drug offenses, DUI, anything except theft.

When they first arrive, they're often reserved, not knowing how they will fit in. But we treat them like regular volunteers (no scarlet letters here). Most of the time, they have a good experience and some even come back to volunteer.

Every so often we're surprised how their time with us makes an impact. Take Nick, for example (not his real name). He's here to put in 20 hours for a DUI charge. He's pretty quiet, but willingly does what we ask of him. At one point in the day we were about to ask him to take out the trash and noticed that he didn't have a jacket. Turns out that he wore a hooded sweatshirt in that day, but he gave it to one of the men who came in to eat that morning. Nick said that the sweatshirt was kind of big on him... fit the other guy better anyway.

I guess we shouldn't be surprised - just because someone did something bad in the past doesn't make them a bad person...

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