From Alternative Winter Break Participant Jake Doobrow of Florida
Today, along with my other Young Judaean friends we visited the Lantern Light Soup Kitchen. This soup kitchen not only offers food but also offers bathrooms, showers, toiletries, doctor check-ups, and help for people applying for jobs.
This one guy who I had a delightful discussion with was named Paul. Paul had a previous job as a truck driver who drove over the permitted hours to make extra money for his family. Then Paul divorced from his wife and was all on his own. He then went and wasted all of his money. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and ended up in New Orleans. He found the soup kitchen as a place to get his life back together. So after I was done talking to Paul, I went on my phone looked for the picture from last year because I thought he looked like the same person from last year. It turned out he was the same person.
On AWB 2012, I went to the Lantern Light and had a discussion with this man and his name was unknown to me at the time. I came back this year on AWB 2013 and saw the guy and learned his name. Since visiting the Lantern Light for the past two years it has changed me as a person. The single best thing that I learned was not to judge people. Something else I’ve learned is to take advantage of what I am given. I can’t wait until AWB 2014 to help a lot more people. I hope to see the people that I saw today with jobs, owning homes, and finding an easier time making ends meet.