Tuesday, May 3, 2016

LCI@RU students volunteer at Radford's Beans and Rice

Daniel Doolittle (second from left), an AmeriCorps volunteer from Pulaski, Virginia, shows LCI@RU students how to set up the weekly food distribution site. The students (from right to left), Almandhar Al-Rawahi of Oman, Ahmed Khaled of Jordan, Abdulrhman Alalshaikh of Saudi Arabia, and Faisal Aljaber of Saudi Arabia, loaded the trailer with boxes of donated food.
Students at the Language and Culture Institute at Radford University volunteered recently with Beans and Rice Inc. The Radford nonprofit works to improve the economic well-being of low- to moderate-income families through hunger relief, afterschool programs that improve educational opportunity for at-risk children, job creation for low- to moderate-income families, and savings programs that help families buy their first home and children save for education.

The LCI@RU students helped set up the weekly food distribution center and distributed donated food. Read about their experiences below.

Ahmad Khaled:

Last Monday my colleagues and I had the chance to participate in a volunteering activity called Beans & Rice. The purpose of this activity is to help poor people, who cannot support themselves, by meeting their daily needs of food like vegetables, bread, canned food, and dessert for their kids. Our task was to bring all of these food to a place where the people are gathered, then put the food on tables to display it for the people who came, and help them if they need any help.

It was so great to be a part of such an activity like that. Helping less fortunate people is very important because it increases the sense of responsibility, and makes people feel with each other. What I like about Beans & Rice that it is a permanent activity, so it is not just for one time then they will disappear. I was told that they will be in the same place every Monday to do the same thing like what we have done. Also I liked how the people who came there were smiling all the time, they were very happy because they felt that there is somebody care about them. Finally, it was a wonderful experiment, and I will feel blissful to be a part of it again.

Faisal Aljaber:

April 25 was a day when I had one of the greatest experiences I have ever had as a volunteer, especially in the field of philanthropy. A week before, my teacher asked me to open my e-mail and register in their website. I was happy when she explained to me that we were going to go to help the less fortunate people. That activity was called Beans and Rice volunteering. Even though it was not first time we went to this kind of trips, it was better than the one before for many reasons. The most important reasons that made me happy and excited are dealing with the less fortunate people directly and getting a temporary jobs.

First of all, one reason that made me prefer the Beans and Rice volunteering activity is contact with less fortunate people in direct way. My friends and I engaged with them in several ways, such as saying hello and asking them how they were doing, and making small conversations with people that work there and some needy people. In fact, they were friendly people and pleasure to see us serve them. On the other hand, trip before we helped that organization without contact with less fortunate people and see how happy they are.

Second, the other reason that made me prefer the Beans and Rice volunteering activity is the responsible employees gave us temporary jobs. Actually, it was great when we served those less fortunate people and gave them some kinds of foods. They were friendly people and smiley. I was a person who was giving everyone two kinds of pizzas. Some of less fortunate people were need more than two pizzas. It was very difficult to prohibit them. I feel sad when I prohibit them, but there are a lot of people that need pizza else.

To sum up, the Beans and Rice activity was a great experience not only because we helped less fortune people, but also because it has encouraged me to want to do it again. My friends and I were happy and felt good when they praised us by good words.

Abdulrhman Alalshaikh:

Helping people is a wonderful feeling. It makes us feel happy for the families who do not have enough food. There are a lot of people who are in need of our help. No one knows about their lives or what they need. Most people are busy with their work and families, so we have to help them to get shelter or food. We can achieve their dreams by working together.

Last week we went to feed the poor. When I arrived there, I met many people who really care about these families and try to organize food donations for these families. They collected a lot of kinds of food that families may need.  I felt so happy because I was a part of this group. Then, we helped them take the food to other place and prepare it for distribution.

After that everyone took his position to start giving the people their food. I feel grateful for getting this opportunity to help these people. Everyone there was friendly and they were asking us about school and our life to make us feel comfortable. They are really awesome people. I would like to do this activity again because it is important to help each other. There are many organizations that help people, but doing that by yourself and helping them makes you see smiles on their faces that could change your life. I believe a small amount of money and time can make big difference for poor people.

Almandhar Al Rawahi:

Yesterday, we went to Rice and Beans. It was volunteering event to help old people get food. It was really nice to help old people.  We were in an office apartment complex where we put out the food for the people.  There was more than one section for food.  There was a bakery, vegetables, fruit, and a cake section.  Old people started coming to get whatever they wanted.

I felt very happy to help them and to see the old people.  I really would like to do that again.

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