We are M.E.S.H. Montclair Emergency Shelter for The Homless. The name may seem to explain it all but it doesn't. M.E.S.H is a community and a home to so many people. We give people more than enough food and offer shelter when bellow freezing (32 Degrees Farenhight.) We always do our best to make the people feel at home and that they are not chairty cases but a part of our family. Our nightly routine is we start with making sure evryone has a drink an apitizer (ex. salad, toast with butter, cheese and crackers) then we move on to a main course (ex. chicken, soup, lasagna) but no meal is complete without dessert (ex. cake, cookies, brownies.) We always try to send people home with food if it is leftovers or lunch bags for the next day or just an apple. We ussaly have about 20-40 homeless people* come for the meals. The way M.E.S.H works is the meals are held at different houses of warship for a dinner every night of the week, though we are also connected with tonny's kitchen which serves lunches and dinners a few nights of the week. Family's will sign up to bring food, anything is welcome, drinks, desserts a main course or a salad. Some people don't have the time to prepare foods or go grocery shopping so they donate money which the head of M.E.S.H will use to buy the things that someone is not bringing. Now the servers, those are kids. The kids that understand the a community is like a family, because everyone needs help sometimes and we all need someone to go to durring the times we strugle. Grown-ups also come, everyone is welcomed with open arms grandparents, cousins, uncles, sisters, brothers. What is amazing that everyone in the comunity has worked together to create M.E.S.H with money donations, vollenteering, planning and lots of hard work. This kind of thing brings people together and strenghthens our sence of community. You may be wondering "Why is M.E.S.H different then any other food bank?" So let me answer that question, the vollenteers at M.E.S.H bond with the people by sitting with and talking to them. I know everyones name and everyones story, theese people are my friends, they know me, we are like family and that is a really special bond.
Now there is one word I have been using a lot, the word community, so what does that even mean? Community is friends and family coming together, fixing problems and picking eachother up when they are down. That is so important to me and that is why I began serving at M.E.S.H when I was nine years old. That's right I am only 11 but M.E.S.H has tought me responsiblity and gave me the chance to feel that warm fuzzy feeling inside after you have helped somebody. And that is why I am asking you to help. There are so many ways to be involed and make someones day by giving a ncie warm meel. Some of the ways are donating food, volenteering, donating clothes, books and donating money** and making people aware of the fact that hunger is not a disstant issue happening in other counties and cities. The issue of hunger is everywhere even right here and our community and the first step in making it stop is educating people. So many people inmagine people living in boxes when you talk about people suffering though poverty and hunger but it is not always like that. Everyone has there own story and there own life and you can help to change it all for the better so I can share that warm, fuzzy feeling inside after you have helped someone. Every donation counts.
*The people who come to M.E.S.H arn't always homeless. Some are having trouble paying for food, some are just looking for a place to be and people to talk to, some are homeless and need somewhere warm to rest and a nice meal, some people just have lots of children and just need some help.
**Money donations (depending on how much food we have to serve might be put to use else where like buying winter coats for the cold people on a snowy day or a book for a little child who is learning to read.