It's the day before Thanksgiving, and I volunteered at a homeless shelter in San Francisco today.

It was my first time volunteering - ever. I had always wanted to get more involved ever since I had my first experience in high school at a choir outing. We had visited an elderly home and sang Christmas carols for them. Needless to say, it was super depressing. Some cried openly while others were on the verge of tears. I soon found out that as I tried to concentrate on my words that were slowly becoming incoherent, I was mimicking the latter. I'd like to think that we brought them a moment of joy, but I'm afraid we made them sad instead.

Fast forward 8 or so years, and I still had not sought to do what I had a desire to do. Call it procrastination, laziness, or whatever... the idea of volunteering would always be pushed to the back of my mind, and I would soon forget about it. I realized two weeks ago that my procrastination was going to be put to an end :) I needed to act upon my wants, so I looked up local volunteering opportunities and found an organization that offered housing to the homeless.

How was my first experience? Awesome. Truly awesome. I may sound like Bill or Ted, but there really is no other word to describe it.

Including myself, there were only two volunteers, and a few staff helped distribute the food also. I had the chance to interact with some of the residents, and for the most part, they were very friendly. I distinctly remember handing a plate full to a lady who couldn't hear me very well but was so grateful and had such a kind smile. It helped to keep me in high spirits during the 3-4 hours that I was there. After serving pumpkin pie slices for dessert, we cleaned up and I headed on home.

I know that the residents are grateful that they received so much food, but I feel I am the one who feels rewarded the most. There is something truly great about helping our companions and sharing that moment of friendship. Just like kindred spirits.