It’s been quite a year for all of us as the pandemic has affected so much of how we live and interact.

And for many, it’s directly affected the way we work—and if we work.

As of mid-June, more than 45 million people have filed for unemployment at some point during the pandemic.

So many suddenly found themselves without work—in a situation completely beyond our control.

David Jones is one of those individuals.

He found himself out of work as a chef when the catering company he worked for no longer had any business to cater to.

But David kept cooking. He began volunteering for The Salvation Army Broomfield Corps in Colorado where he made lunch for 100 people a day who live in The Salvation Army’s Silvercrest—a residence for seniors.

Across the Western U.S., some 3,000 people live in a Salvation Army Silvercrest. And in Broomfield, Colorado, Chef David Jones helped make sure they had a delicious lunch and someone to say hello to.

Show highlights include:

  • David’s role before pandemic: Chef for a catering company for almost two years, in charge of lunch for one of the corporate menus
  • Favorite part of being a chef: Being able to provide for people
  • Why David likes volunteering: Giving to people who are not able to get food for themselves, provide meals for people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from
  • Connection to The Salvation Army: Mom has been volunteering for three years and asked to come out during holidays and really enjoyed it; mom asked him to volunteer again after losing job
  • Why David decided to volunteer and take on extended volunteer role: Background is in catering and wanted to give back; serving seniors helped David find himself
  • Moments that stand out: Seeing Silvercrest residents’ faces light up when food was delivered
  • How experience changed David: Helped get a sense of who he really was; feel stronger in his self-awareness and how he feels about himself
  • Recommendations on how to get involved in serving others: Follow your own interests; everyone has skills and talents they can use to help

Good words from David Jones in this show:

“They are so used to being able to provide for themselves and something like this takes all of that away really fast and they are not sure what they are going to do. Being able to provide meals for people who don’t know where their next meal is going to come from is a great feeling.”

“I just really wanted to give back…Volunteering and serving the seniors was really the best part about it. It really helped me find myself.”

“The decision I came to was, ‘Do I sit here and feel sorry for myself the entire time that this is going on and not do anything to help myself or do I evolve during this time?’”

“Through helping these people and making the connections that I have and talking with the [officers], they really helped me get a sense of who I am. I felt like I was a tree digging my roots into the ground… I feel a lot stronger in my self-awareness.”

“As long as you are trying to do the right thing it doesn’t matter exactly what you’re doing, just as long as you are trying to do good.”

“We all have talents. Some are hidden and some are quite obvious. Most of those talents can serve others also.” 

Additional resources:

Download this episode wherever you get your podcasts. Find show notes for this episode and more at caringmagazine.org/podcast.  Connect with The Salvation Army Broomfield Corps.

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