by Hosanna (’14)
GLIDE Memorial Church is the place to be. My mother had told me about GLIDE, then my homepiece and peer, Flavia (a Creative Writer) told me we should check it out together. During the summer I decided to check it out. I went on www.glide.org, picked out a date, and received a confirmation email. Of course, because I spend a lot of time curled up, watching corny Bollywood love stories that make me cry, I didn’t know where 330 Ellis Street was (don’t listen to Google Maps . . . they misled me). I, from 6th and Market, ran through the surprisingly empty Tenderloin side streets (not to say there weren’t any creeps lingering around) until I ran into Glide. For my first time, things were surprisingly simple and the volunteers there, old and new, were sociable and very helpful. My sister and I signed in, put on some gloves, got better gloves, and stood by our assigned tables. We were put into the main cafeteria, a large orange space with a kitchen and a clean up room off to the side. My sister and I were given instructions on how to refill water pitchers, clean the tables, and who to give the used trays to.
Lunch started at around 11:30 and the cafeteria, after everyone got their food, was flooded with people. People were stuffed in the hallway, coming out of every entrance and exit, all waiting for a free lunch and place to sit down and eat. I had to move quickly, wipe down tables, remove trays, refill water pitchers, and get salt and pepper when they were asked for. This busy atmosphere continued until 1pm; I took off my very sweaty gloves, my hairnet, and sat down to relieve my feet. I felt grateful and more human than I had ever felt. I smiled out of happiness when I was thanked for volunteering, not out of pitiful kindness. I went to Glide once a week until the school year was beginning to approach. However, I plan on returning to Glide, balancing three trays on one arm, collecting tickets from eager faces, and getting told I look like Angela Davis (happened three times in one day– SCORE). I would encourage everyone and anyone to spend a Saturday morning, afternoon, or evening at Glide. All the Staff members are extremely nice as well as the people who go there for a meal. Help prevent a growling stomach, you never know what tomorrow brings.