Yesterday, I participated in a giving event with Juliana and her best friend Cami. It was a great experience.
The event was called Gobble Gobble Give. It was a Thanksgiving event where we fed the homeless, gave them warm clothes and socks and gave them hair cuts and sanitary supplies.
The event took place in Crazytown, which is one of the three-story bars on Broadway. It was run by volunteers and there was not much of an organizational structure. At least not at first.
When we got there, we looked around for something to do. I first noticed that the trashcans were full. I know how to stock beer and how to empty trashcans, I saw that as a way I could be useful. I asked someone where the dumpster was and got to work.
I found a roll of trash bags and started walking around checking the trashcans, emptying them when they started getting heavy and then replacing them with a fresh bag.
Before I knew it, an entire operation formed around me. We had three people walking around the room collecting trash, I would bring the trash downstairs to the dumpster and my new friend named Brian (he was traveling to Illinois and stopped in Nashville just to volunteer for the day) would walk the trashbags to a dumpster that we found down the street.
There we’re probably 200 volunteers. There were about 50 people packing up dinners for people in need. There were about 5 people who would take the meals and walk them over to the top of an assembly line. Then there were about 20 people who formed an assembly line that would pass the meals downstairs, out the door to the people on the street and to a line of delivery cars that would drive meals to families in need. There was a network of people who cleaned up the empty cooking trays and got them in trash bags and then a network of people who took the trash out.
That was just the upstairs.
Downstairs, there was a similar supply chain to organize clothes, size the clothes, pack the clothes and give them away and then another chain in the back for hair cuts. I came downstairs once to empty the trashcans and I saw Jules and Cami hard at work folding clothes. It made me feel good.
It was really amazing. It was inspiring to see what happens when people come together. It was a massive organization that fed and clothed thousands of people.
All it took was a group of people coming together and figuring out how they could be useful.
When in doubt, find a way to be useful. It doesn’t matter what being useful looks like. Does the trash need to go out? Do clothes need to be folded? Do phone calls need to be made? Does the shop need to be swept? Do reports need to be run?
Make yourself useful, and you will build great success in your life.