Why We Serve
By Stan and Sue Morgan
On the second and fourth Monday nights of each month, you will find the Morgans, the Kennys, and the Griffiths in the kitchen busily preparing meals for the House guests. As the founders of the group, we, the Morgans- Stan and Sue, began serving meals when the Family House opened in 2012. Our volunteer journey began as we helped during the fund raising phase with the State Employees Credit Union in Clemmons. When the House opened, we thought that folding sheets and towels just might be the job for us. That quickly proved not to be our talent- leave that task to Martha Stewart! So we tried our hands at cooking and found that to be our niche.
Starting to Grow
In the beginning, we were preparing for approximately 15 guests. As the years passed and the reputation of the House grew, so did the occupancy of the House. Currently we are preparing for sixty people each night. Other than providing a good meal, our goal is, and always has been, is to introduce local people to the House, to its mission and to encourage them to come in individually or as a group to prepare meals. Hopefully there will be a meal provided each night for the guests.
Turning Frowns Upside Down
Some time ago a lady came in from the hospital after a particularly bad day for her patient and she was really sad and depressed. She came up to me and remarked that when she came in the front door of the House she could smell pork roast cooking. She had planned to go directly to her room and lay down and just cry. The smell of the meal overcame her and she stayed to eat supper with us. Just the smell of a home cooked meal lifted her spirit. She expressed thanks to us for the meal and she said that the simple meal seemed like a Thanksgiving meal to her. That night she shared the meal with a group of people she had just met at the House. She was able to share her story and her tears with people who were in a situation similar to hers. The sharing of stories and the development of friendships are vital part of the mission of the House.
Just the smell of a home cooked meal lifted her spirit.
With the increase in the number of guests came the need for more help. Tom and Sharon Kenny joined our group as did Gary and Carol Griffith. We have all been so blessed in our lives and providing the meals is our way of giving back. It is our joy to serve a good meal and to visit with the guests. At the end of a long day at the hospital, folks will sit around the table and willingly share their stories, shed a few tears and form lasting friendships. It is always a delight to see a familiar face in the group and to follow their progress in their medical journey. For us, Linda from Gastonia and Mary from Ireland have become special friends and we have stayed in touch with them long after they returned home.
Going on a Diaper Hunt
A young couple was spending a day trip at Old Salem with their family of five children. One of the parents became ill and had to be unexpectedly admitted to the hospital. What does a parent do with five children under the age of eight in those circumstances? They were directed to the Family House for the night. Obviously they were not prepared to spend the night away from home and they had nothing to meet the needs of the children, two of whom were in diapers. During the serving of the meal, we asked if there was anything that we could do for them. The father asked what was available at the House. Thankfully there were basic toiletries available and those were shared. But there were no diapers available! That would mean a visit to the drugstore to buy those. Having no grandchildren of our own, that was a foreign item for us to purchase. We got the basic information and reluctantly headed out to CVS on the diaper hunt!! Thanks to the help of a very understanding cashier we were able to get the diapers and make two little ones – and Dad- happy again.
While serving a meal, we never know how we will be blessed or challenged. The blessings just keep on a’coming!!
Guests don’t remain strangers long at the Family House. Each of us is blessed by the people we meet there. Our favorite phrase is: We come to feed the people but we are the ones who are fed.