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Testimonial from a volunteer at the International Section about the Social Groceries

08.11.2012

Recently I decided to volunteer for the Red Cross because being Canadian, culturally we like to give back through volunteering.

Coming from a broad range of international humanitarian experience from having worked at the UN Headquarters to on the field, I never realized how much humanitarian work can be done at home, rather than overseas.

The Social Groceries visit was excellent at displaying the power of the Red Cross’s mission to “improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.” Having the staff and volunteers explain to us the importance of such a service in Luxembourg really hit home for our group. It made us realize how fortunate we are and that being in a situation where you need this type of assistance can happen to anyone. I admired the restaurant owner who volunteers his precious time to do cooking demonstrations because there are people who do not have the knowledge to cook nutritious meals with a small amount of money. During the cooking demonstration, simple explanations were given of his cooking methods. For example, he only used two burners and not 4, because there are those who don’t have 4 burners to cook on in their kitchen. Some people have difficulty in identifying what groceries or supplies to buy with a small amount of money. A test was done to see what I could buy with 10 euros for a week’s survival of food and supplies. And with the huge discount available, everyone was surprised at how much I was able to purchase. In the past, I always equated the Red Cross with humanitarian work at an international level, it is impressive to see how well organized an organization it is to help people in your own country.

Hearing the stories of the people who come to Social Groceries, I stared at the food and supplies thinking that anything can happen in life, and you could be right there picking up something from the shelf.

So, instead of helping overseas, we can also do a little to help those at home.