This weekend I had the pleasure of giving back at the Andre House of Hospitality in downtown Phoenix. This wasn’t a planned event at all and actually was the result of my initial plans not going through. I ended up at the Andre House because I received an email about them needing more volunteers. I am a part of a philanthropy group that volunteers our time and resources for different charities and events.

As I pulled up to the Andre House I seen hundreds of homeless people waiting outside to get food from St Vincent De Paul across the street. I have a very soft place in my heart when it comes to being homeless because I remember being homeless when my parents got a divorce. I was very young but it is something that has stayed with me from my childhood.

Anyway, as I checked in I sat with a group that was preparing the fruit salad that was going to be served for dinner that evening. My job was peeling oranges and then slicing them to be placed in the fruit salad. We finished preparing the food and were assigned our jobs for dinner. I was fortunate enough to get placed on the serving line to serve fruit salad. I couldn’t wait because I was looking forward to smiling and speaking with each of the people that came through my line.  In my mind I wanted to be a friendly face for each of them to see and hopefully brighten their day.

To my surprise, it was the smiles on their faces that brighten my day and it really made me think for a moment. I wondered would I be smiling if I lived on the streets of Phoenix during the summer when it is 118 degrees outside? I thought would I still be thankful and happy if circumstances had led me to be homeless not knowing where my next meal would come from? I can’t say that I would be as cheerful as these individuals were but I will say that it made me very appreciative for my blessings.

Often times we complain and disregard the blessings that we do have. The lesson for me was that you must stay in a state of humility and gratitude because you never know where life may lead you. You should be mindful that someone always has it better than or worse than you. If God blesses you with the gift of life, make a point to give back and live your life to the fullest.

I was so blessed by my experience at the Andre House this weekend that I plan to go back soon. I encourage each of you to give back to those who are less fortunate than you. Life is about giving back, without expecting anything in return. Always be humble and give back, I love you and hope each of you have a blessed week!

Click the link for more information on the Andre House in Phoenix, AZ.