Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“Why Do Americans Do This?”

AdventureMan and I were with a group of delegates from Iraq yesterday, taking them on a visit to a variety of Pensacola sites. They are here visiting through the GCCDC, on the IVLP program, studying elections and campaign strategies in the USA.

One stop we make with many delegates is the First Methodist program Serving the Hungry. Two days a week, led by Jerry Vititow and supported by many happy, willing volunteers, they serve a hot lunch to the hungry, varying in numbers but never less than fifty or so.

The delegates learn about the program, then don aprons and serve up the trays. It is often one of the highlights of the trip.

One delegate raises his hand to ask a question.

“We see this everywhere,” he starts, “Americans who are working for nothing and smiling. Why do they do this?” He was genuinely perplexed.

Jerry explained that it wells up from many sources, a yearning to give back some of the blessings we have received, an eagerness to serve those who have less, maybe just an eagerness to serve. “It’s part of what we believe in,” he sums it up.

The delegates had a wonderful time.

March 7, 2014 - Posted by | Character, Charity, Civility, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Pensacola


  1. Americans give away their money at least twice , one that is well known as US Government Aid to the rest of the world ( It is tax payers money after all ) and Again Americans volunteer time and money to local or international causes , but that is almost not known at all outside USA . Non Americans are genuinely surprised by this when they come across it .

    Comment by daggero | March 12, 2014 | Reply

    • I’ve been in countries receiving AID and I have seen the “given by USA” tags covered up by other tags, as if the aid came from someone else.

      But I think the food is given because food is needed, not because we need for them to know it is given by the USA. And I loved loved loved the looks on the delegates’ faces after volunteering; Daggero, they GLOWED. It’s the great secret: we volunteer because it feels so good. 🙂

      Comment by intlxpatr | March 12, 2014 | Reply

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