The Holiday Season – Making Unexpected Connections

The Holiday season has a tendency to bring out the worst in people.  This year has proven this theory in spades when I heard about a woman using pepper spray to get an item she wanted while shopping on Black Friday.

Personally, I don’t get this.

I guess I’m one of those individuals who find the true spirit of the holiday season in the quiet, yet unexpected, heartwarming relationships you build with another person.  It hasn’t happened to me for many years, but this year, it has and in the most unlikely way.

I’m a regular runner for Community Plates.  Every Thursday, I pick up the generous donations from Whole Foods in Darien and deliver them to Wilson’s Pantry in Stamford.  In my personal life, I have a tendency to be a bit shy.  I’ll smile, say hi and tell people I’m with Community Plates and am dropping off food from Whole Foods.

I’ve been doing this run for many weeks, but never really gave much thought that I was making a connection with anyone at the shelter.  However, last week when I pulled up, this man was just about to tell me to move my car, but within seconds of pulling up, my main contact (I don’t know his name) came running out and said “No, no, she’s with Community Plates and has a donation for us”.

What I find interesting is that I’ve only mentioned on my first delivery, I’m from Community Plates because every other drop off, this man flies up the basement stairs and as quickly as I pull up and pop my trunk, he’s emptied out its contents.

I still don’t know this man’s name, but that’s okay.  After all these weeks, I didn’t realize that a smile, saying hello, thanks, and see you next week could have created a very strong bond for me.

I knew my original reason for volunteering for Community Plates was to rescue food and put it in the hands of people that would use and appreciate it.  But I love the added benefit of connecting with the people who receive the donations.  I didn’t expect it and find it the best gift of all this holiday season.

–Joan