Learning Selfless Service with the Men’s Atlanta Community

Posted on June 10, 2013

“I have more than I want or need. I now realize I should appreciate it more.”

This statement was made by a Hope Homes resident after participating in a service learning experience organized and led by HH counselor Marc Pimsler.

On Saturday, May 11, one of our Atlanta men’s communities volunteered with Kashi Atlanta. Kashi Atlanta serves meals to 500 of Atlanta’s homeless every week. Twenty-two Hope Homes residents, along with HH counselors Marc and Andy, made 150 meals and then distributed the meals at the Peachtree and Pine Homeless Shelter. The men’s community will continue to volunteer with Kashi Atlanta every month.

Marc organized the service learning experience for his residents because he believes that working with the homeless is an important aspect in healing addiction. “It is mere circumstances,” he states, “that separates many in recovery from the homeless that they are serving.” Marc says he learned this from the founder of Kashi, Ma Jaya. “Through service,” Ma Jaya says, “you will realize that you are not the doer, and that God or Love is working through you. Any act of service becomes a state of surrender to something bigger than your ego. In this way the ego is put to rest.”

Marc says he has seen the many residents brought to tears as they serve the homeless. “I have seen with my own eyes the hardened of hearts soften following this intervention” Marc states. “What the homeless give us is far more than we could ever give them.” In the words of Marc’s co-counselor, Andy: “This was a VERY powerful experience for our residents! Well done, Marc!” Hope Homes is fortunate to have such dedicated and passionate counselors.

Some quotes from our residents on their experience:

“It was weird being around the homeless, but now I feel really bad about complaining about anything ever.”

“It was really eye opening. I feel so lucky.”

“I was just one step away from being on the other end of the receiving line.”

And one last quote from Ma Jaya: “You receive the benefits when you serve the poor and the sick without looking for a reward, doing it for no reason or purpose, except maybe the joy that it brings you. Even if your motives may not be so pure in the beginning, do it anyway. Eventually, it will purify your heart.”

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