While many people may have been preparing for the holidays, 20 Airmen and family members from the 62nd Fighter Squadron helped feed the homeless Dec. 19 and 20 at the André House of Hospitality in Phoenix.
“Since it was the holiday season, I thought it would be nice to find a local soup kitchen in order to provide a warm meal for those who are economically less fortunate than us,” said Capt. Mark Warner, 56th Fighter Wing executive officer. “After a few Internet searches, I came upon the André House of Hospitality’s website and contacted their coordinator about volunteering there.”
The André House of Hospitality is a ministry to the homeless and poor populations in the Phoenix area and has been around since 1984. It also began in the most unlikely of ways.
According to the ministry’s website, andrehouse.org, it started with a small group of people who gathered to share coffee, bread and a bowl of soup. In the beginning, the soup was prepared outside on a makeshift table behind a house on Polk Street. Every evening, volunteers would bring a huge pot of soup to the train tracks in downtown Phoenix to feed the homeless.
Since that time a few things have changed, but the ministry still prepares a soup line meal every evening with the help of volunteers.
For two days, from 3:15 to 7:30 p.m. Luke Air Force Base personnel assisted with prepping the food, from cooking beans to chopping onions. Additionally, they helped serve the food, washed dishes and cleaned up.
Volunteering at the soup kitchen not only helped feed the less fortunate, but humbled the volunteers and reminded them to be thankful for what they have.
“I’ve helped at a soup kitchen before and it helps me to remember how blessed I am to have a steady job and supportive family by my side,” said Capt. Daniel Wynn, 62nd FS A-Flight commander. “We definitely hope to do this next year, since it’s great to be able to give back and make the holidays that much better for someone else.”