On a warm August afternoon, a group of volunteers from McAdams had our first organized event to give back to our community, and it was fulfilling and fun! The McAdams SHARES committee worked diligently over several months to identify the charitable causes that best align with the feedback we received from the company-wide survey for areas of focus for our community outreach efforts. The Durham Rescue Mission (DRM) has become one of the organizations for our support, as it provides critical services to support the homeless and victims of substance abuse. Following a meeting with DRM, we decided to host a “Back to School Cookout” at their homeless shelter for women and children.
We knew the families of this shelter would appreciate a break from the norm for their usual Friday dinner, but we probably underestimated how much WE would all enjoy this opportunity to work together as a group and lend a little encouragement and support to those in our community who confront real daily challenges. The truth is, many of the women and children temporarily living in the shelter have had something happen that pulled the rug out from under their feet and they simply need a little help and a little time to get back up. We’ve all read articles stating that most Americans are one paycheck away from living on the streets, right? The truth is that most of us really do have options for emergency needs, but there are many who do not, and those are the typical residents of the Durham Rescue Mission shelters.
Our visit was brief, but it was impactful. Impactful to our team, at least. The conversations we had were typical neighborhood conversations…some kids are excited about school starting, while others are struggling with the idea of summer being over. Some moms can’t wait to have school start to give a much-needed respite from the rowdy kids, while others dread school starting and will miss the time with their little ones. While there are such major differences in their situation from ours, we also realized there is very little difference between us all.
Yes, there was a lot of hard work that went into our efforts for this event. Lots of planning and logistics to purchase and pack food, drinks and all the supplies. Lots of hard work setting things up, cooking and serving on a parking lot in August heat. And lots of work to clean it all up afterwards, rather than being with our own families on a Friday evening. Despite all this work, every single person was filled with joy and felt energized about spending time with these women and kids. Learn more about this important organization at www.durhamrescuemission.org.