By Ellen Vander Bleek
(Ellen Vander Bleek, 16, of Jesus Christ Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton, reflected on her CIA service at the Johnson County Crisis Center’s Food Bank.)
As I was sitting alongside the Iowa River eating my lunch, a family of ducks approached me. Doing as most people would, I tore off a bit of my sandwich and fed it to the ducks. While laughing at the ducks’ reaction to the sandwich, I thought about what I was doing. I was feeding the less fortunate. Feeding ducks is just a little thing that people do, but do all the people who feed the ducks also feed the people who really need help? We should be giving more to the people who need our help.
After eating lunch we were scheduled to work at a food pantry. At this food pantry, we were putting food in bags for people to pick up for their families. When I saw how much food was taken in and given out by this pantry, it let me know that people really do care.
There was a young girl who came in and said that she had recently had her birthday party. Instead of gifts, she wanted her friends and family to give her food that she could donate to the food pantry. I could see the compassion in that little girl’s smile — the same compassion I saw on the faces of little girls feeding the ducks. Just as we look out for the ducks, we need to look out for people who really do need our help and to have a smile on our face while we do it.