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Finishing Half and Hour Late
March 17, 2017 @ 2:25 PM by: Richard Steinecke

Lanark, Perth and Smith Falls are towns a little west of Ottawa. Close to a dozen of their youth, many of whom live on farms, chose to spend their March Break in Toronto. Their main mission was to do ESL tutoring for new Canadian children. However, they helped out at Oasis for three days this past week. Most of the youth had never helped at a food bank or community dinner before. Volunteering in large, multicultural inner-city was new to them. When they arrived on Tuesday for our drop-in and community dinner time I emphasized that the most important thing they could do was talk with our community members rather than just “helping out”. They took me seriously. A few of them ended up in an intense conversation with one of slower-eating community members as he had seconds and thirds of the meal. It took half an hour more than usual to close up because of the ongoing discussion. As our community member left he expressed gratitude to me for the willingness of the young people to talk with him. That was a half-hour well spent.

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