Pam Kerl shares her experience serving with Kids Eat Free each summer.
My maternal grandparents were Assembly of God pastors and missionaries for over 50 years. When I was a youngster, I remember hearing my grandfather preaching about a favorite Bible passage which comes from Matthew 25:35-40. ("For I was hungry and you gave me food...") Servant ministry would definitely describe how my grandparents lived.
In the years since my grandfather's death in 1990, I have searched for ways to follow his lead by being in service to/for others, both publicly and privately. Several years ago, I found (or rather it found me) the Kids Eat Free program. Back then, volunteers met at a church to put together lunches, often making peanut butter and jelly or bologna sandwiches from donations from CCA, churches, and others. As the program transitioned into a different format, I backed away from it for a while. A few years ago though, a wonderful college friend, Linda Krause, posted on Facebook about needing volunteers for Kids Eat Free. Even though I was not a Trietsch member, I asked if I could volunteer. Well, if you know Linda, her reply was an enthusiastic "Yes!"
Fast forward: Kids Eat Free has become a summer tradition for me. My husband volunteers with me when he’s not working. The addition of my daughter-in-love, my son's wife, to the Kids Eat Free tradition began two years ago. For almost a year before they were married, Elizabeth heard me talk so much about what a joy it is to deliver lunch AND get to know the kids/families we met each week. Since then, she has served with me for the last two years. Kids Eat Free provided the inspiration we needed to help others, however, we also got to know each other better by serving others...together!
So, what would my grandparents think of volunteering with the Kids Eat Free program? I am certain that they would be happy to know that there are members of their family who take this opportunity to serve others. There are so many ways to be of service to others; however, I hope that the Kids Eat Free program continues to be a summer tradition for my extended family. We may have to adapt our Kids Eat Free tradition this year due to the arrival of our new grandson!