The Kindness of Strangers

Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services (SFBFS) has always been there for my family and I. I can remember being a young man growing up in South Sacramento in a single income household like so many. I remember watching my grandmother struggle to make ends meet while working multiple jobs, never really being home, even if her physical presence was. Being hungry was a common feeling for my brother, sister and I and we would try to ignore this feeling by distracting ourselves with old video games and TV, or simply going to sleep. After a while, my Grandma learned about SFBFS and their distribution locations and so she would take me, the man of the house, with her to receive food to help supplement us for the month. It was at these distribution locations that I would experience kindness unlike any I had experienced at that time and it would change me into the man I have become today.

I remember the volunteers were all working hard and fast to assist the long line of people asking for help but they were also so personable, nice and polite. They didn’tmake us feel embarrassed for being there, instead many asked me about what I wanted to do when I was older to which I responded, “I want to work in technology and communications!” I’m not even sure if I really knew what that meant back then. I remember finding it hard to believe that there were so many caring, warm-hearted and giving people who were willing to spend their time on my family of whom they had never met. Through their actions these volunteers taught me the valuable lesson that everyone needs help sometimes and that’s ok; don’t judge just help. That day I decided that I wanted to be like those people and help those who need it without question or judgement. I wanted to come back and greet these amazing people when I became an adult, shake their hand and show them that I had created something of myself and it was due in part to their help and kindness.


Now, at 26, I am proud to say that I am still dedicated to serving others and find it extremely rewarding. I have served at my church as a child, assisted with youth groups as a teen, served in the military as an adult and am now proud to serve my community as the Communications Intern at the same place that affected me so much as a small child, SFBFS.  I realize now that I will probably never meet the same faces I did that day, but instead I’m determined to be the same face of inspiration and encouragement to someone else.

I encourage all who want to help and be the change in the community to come down to SFBFS and volunteer. I promise once you do, you will experience the rewarding feeling of how great it is to give unselfishly.

Submitted by: Maurice Elamrani - Communications Intern, SFBFS