01.11.16 | Erika Yeates
We recently participated in another of our Service Projects into the community. Service is an integral part of our business and gives all of us at Aspirall the opportunity to learn and grow from the experience.
The purpose of our service work is to:
- To contribute our time to making a difference for the greater good
- To strengthen our team relationships through working together for a higher purpose in a completely different context
- To learn and grow
A small group of us gladly gave up our day to meet at the Exodus Foundation at their Loaves and Fishes restaurant , a church converted restaurant that provides free meals to the homeless 7 days a week. We all worked in varying capacities to provide lunch for about 250 people, each challenged in their lives both physically and mentally. Some of us worked behind the scenes in the kitchen preparing the food and others worked out front, preparing the tables and serving a delicious and nutritious home cooked meal. We observed how dedicated staff and other volunteers from the organisation are, as they work tirelessly to ensure impeccability in every aspect of their service for the community.
Here are some of what our group had to say about the experience:
“A wonderful lesson in the preciousness of all small acts and how much they might demonstrate kindness and respect”
“We must be kind to everyone we meet – we have no idea what they may be facing”
“No better way to build camaraderie with your own team then when you are just caring human beings helping others”
“It was a reminder of how blessed we are and how a sense of purpose that is for the greater good can be a such a potent source of collective inspiration”
“It reinforced for me the value of spending time with colleagues outside of the office and having a laugh together”
“What stood out for me was the joy of working with my colleagues in preparing the food. In serving the greater good, I was serving me
In summary we definitely contributed and strengthened team relationships, and we learnt a lot across different levels:
- At a personal level we learnt about ‘How is it for me doing basic, repetitive work? How does the higher purpose of the work impact that? How am I in the face of human poverty, difficulty and dysfunction?’
- At a local level we got to see how the ‘Loaves and Fishes’ food delivery system works and how we as a team interact and contribute to that
- At a global level we got to see the dysfunction of our broader societal system that ends up with 250 people in Ashfield needing to be fed every day and how an individual with a vision can have such a profoundly positive impact on that system
All in all as well as a joyful and uplifting experience, it was a growth and learning experience in thoughtfulness, kindness and respect.