The Arlington Community Center is a Salvation Army organization that is a worldwide movement, an organization that is motivated by the love of God and a mission to meet human needs without prejudice. It is a center for worship and praises, learning, recreation, music and neighborhood activities. This center is a dwelling place for homeless families. It has the capability to accommodate for 15 needy families. Arriving at the community center, there were just about twenty people around.
There were mothers with their children and some teenagers. Food is the first thing these people needed so kitchen was the best place to work on. Being able to talk to the chief cook named Evelene Smith and while helping her with the preparation of the food to serve, we had time to talk about her thoughts and some information about the center. She has been doing the community service volunteer work as cook for almost 40 years, 4 years at the Arlington center.
She said she and the other workers love their job, the wonderful feeling of being able to help others in her own little way and would probably spend their lifetime doing the community service. The dedication of Evelene as well as the workers of the center is unparalleled. The center only allows families with children to stay there for a maximum of three months but some families stays longer and leaves when the center have them go. While we were preparing the food, there were also about six teenagers who arrived and who were to render some hours because of doing something bad.
There was this guy, who is a nurse. The first time he came at the center when he fought with a police, he was ordered to render 160 hours of community service at the center. He has finished the 160 hours of service but he kept on coming back since then. His experience in the center changed his habit a lot. He used to get angry very easy but because of his interactions with the different types of people in the center, he learned to manage his anger. To talk to the mothers and their kids at the table while eating was fun.
It was wonderful serving food to others. It is great to hear their different stories of how they landed at the center and their thoughts and hope for a better tomorrow. They never uttered a single word that would show hopelessness. The smiles can still be seen in their faces. They were grateful that there is this community center who accepted them and when they have the opportunity to give back the favors they are receiving now, they surely will. It is a blessing to have the chance to give community service at the Arlington center even for just few hours.
Even though it may have been small, it was a wonderful and amazing experience to have been able to help people in need. It was such a worthwhile and eye-opening experience to know that the Arlington Salvation Army center plays such a marvelous role in the lives of the families they refuge. This experience shall be here to stay and the opportunity to serve is something to be grateful and be proud of. Certainly, this community service deserves a second chance, whatever time and in any way possible.