Serving with Kids Eat Free in San Angelo, I was away from home 10 long, wonderful and fun weeks. There was stress, loneliness and some frustration, but I think that has to be part of every great adventure.
Kids Eat Free operates 15 sites, from boys’ and girls’ clubs, to recreation centers, to churches of different denominations. I had the privilege to visit five of those 15 and work with the children there doing some crafts and with the people who serve the food. It was a great blessing meeting all those hard-working people. They encouraged me to work harder but also told me I was doing a great job with the children.
That was a great encouragement, because I lacked experience in that area, especially working without supervision or help. I will admit I was super-nervous the first week, because I didn't know what to expect working alone—and more importantly, working with children. But the volunteers at the sites were very supportive.
During my time in San Angelo, I think I grew to be more confident about working with children and a little bit more creative in crafts. Working with this program let me see the needs of people. It's really not evident in their lives, because they have material things like clothing and vehicles. But in reality, people lack food and barely make their paychecks stretch to pay their monthly bills. It’s really heartbreaking. That is why I’m so thankful for this ministry.
Kids Eat Free feeds children during the summer when school is out, because the only way they get food some times is at school. Complete families show up to a site closest to them. We feed the kids first, but thank God, there is always leftover food, and we feed their parents, too. San Angelo people are very generous. The program here operates from community donations and small grants from the No Kid Hungry campaign. I praise God for the generosity of this people and their efforts and willingness to help end hunger. I know God will keep blessing this community, because they are serving the Lord by serving these children and their families. As of me, I have been so blessed by God through them, and they will be in my heart forever.
Olivia Rodriguez, a student at the University of Texas at El Paso, served in San Angelo with Go Now Missions.