Today, as Marylu and I climbed Smokey Mountain, we were met with billows of smoke from the charcoal making and waving hands from the neighborhood children eager to help us carry the water and baskets of fruit to the community center. Once at the top, we worried we wouldn’t have enough food when we saw that the line snaked around the corner. It seems each time there are more people to serve. We estimate well over 190 children this week. Fortunately, we used our mother-honed skills and strategically sliced the oranges to ensure everyone got their fair share.
Before the food distribution, Marylu lead the mother and children in handwashing, which for many kids ends up being a full-on body soak in an effort to rinse away the ash from the charcoal-filled air. It is touching to see a rough-and-tumble, 10-year-old boy reluctant to dip his muddy foot in the water, but within just a few minutes, he’s jumped in — the simple joy of rinsing off in clean water.
Afterward, we chatted with Chin, an ever-present community member, who helps us hand out the food, to hear about his new work opportunities and what Thrive means to him and the community. See raw footage of Chin’s interview HERE.