My body is broken. I have blisters on my feet, my back hurts like hell, and my left ankle feels like maybe it just doesn’t exist. My feet hurt, my hands hurt, my forearms ache, and I want to just lay down and have someone pour booze into me.
I’m probably exaggerating, but I just took a half-day off work and helped out with this amazing organization called Matter, and it was the hardest work I’ve done since I used to load luggage for the airline. I really like that kind of work, but man, if you’re not used to it, it will break you down pretty fast. And even though it was just volunteer work, I’m pretty competitive at everything, so I was working fast the whole 4 hours to see if I could load the most pallets. I’m pretty sure I won, but I guess no one else was keeping track.
I found the volunteer opportunity at volunteermatch.org, which connects people with local volunteering. Matter organizes events where companies can, as part of an employee engagement program or just as charity, send a team to compete against other company teams. The event I was at is its biggest of the year in Minnesota, "Matterbox Madness," where 32 teams will compete, sorting all the food we piled onto pallets (they are timed) into meals—200,000 of them, for people in need in Minnesota. I would say I lifted somewhere around 600 boxes—two times each (off a pallet, onto a cart, onto another pallet).
Matter also holds event just like that for medical supply sorting—78 events per year just in MN! The lead organizer told me that the food goes everywhere—to police stations to hand out, to schools, to hospitals, to groups that help teach low-income people how they can eat both cheaply and healthily (the food was all "good for you" foods). She told me about some kids who are homeless who are couchsurfing, staying with a schoolmate, and they give their food to that friend’s parents. “It’s a matter of pride for them, to give something back,” she said.
That’s a good way to be.
I am going to go lay down now.
P.s. I’m counting this as a solid two days of good—one for the work, one for the 4hr vacay time I took for the work.