|This is Tatyana|
And Tatyana has found her place to serve – both figuratively and literally. Almost every Sunday she volunteers for two shifts at the Potter’s House of Denver, a free food bank that operates under the “Food Bank of the Rockies” umbrella. And many of the 800 – 1,000 people she helps there have an instant connection to her, because, you see, Tatyana understands not only their LANGUAGE, but their EXPERIENCE. Some of them recently arrived in Colorado from Ukraine, which they left to flee the war, and do not speak any English.
Well, Tatyana’s family immigrated to the USA from Ukraine in 1996 when she was 9 years old. At that time she, like so many people she serves at the food bank now, spoke only Russian. American schools not only taught her English, but because she, like her parents, is hard of hearing they also taught her American Sign Language. This makes her a perfect fit for helping not only the Russian speaking people needing food each Sunday, but also the Deaf and hard of hearing people! As she told me, “I decided to volunteer at the Food Bank because I was informed that there are many Russian individuals attending there who don't speak English. Right then, I knew I wanted to get involved and help out. I know what it's like to have language barrier, and if I could help, I would.”
|Tatyana working at the sign in desk|
First off, I LOVE the fact that these people are getting healthy, hearty food to eat. And secondly, they are getting service with Tatyana’s amazing SMILE! I can see why the Russian speakers love coming to talk with her! In fact, I would imagine that a lot of them would want to just sit down, drink a cup of tea, and CHAT! I think it is interesting that some of the older Russian people she helps do not understand the concept of “volunteering” and Tatyana has to explain to them what it means to GIVE of your time like she and the other people at the food bank do. “I often have to explain that people take time out of their life to serve others not for the money, but out of the goodness of their hearts,” she said.
|Photo from a successful "Feed the Children" campaign at the Food Bank|
|Tatyana and her cousin with the Potter's House Food Bank van|
Please visit this website to learn more about The Potter’s House of Denver Food Bank - The Potter's House of Denver Food Bank
You can find them on Facebook here Potters House Denver on Facebook and on Twitter @TPHDenver