For our January service event, the Knights decided to walk downtown and buy coats from the local thrift shop, the Arc, and deliver those coats to the local homeless shelter, Spokane House of Charity (HOC). The event didn’t quite go as planned, but it made a huge impact on my life.
The morning of the event, I awoke to snow fluttering down from the sky. Walking in this weather would have been brutal, so the Knights all piled into a couple trucks and headed to the Arc thrift store. The Arc, luckily, was having a storewide fifty percent off sale, so we went crazy, buying tons of coats and essential cold weather clothing. After running up the tab over three hundred dollars, we hopped in the trucks and drove downtown to the HOC.
At the HOC, we were not exactly welcomed in with open arms. Most of the people inside were enjoying lunch and the few volunteers available had a lot to do. After sorting out a bit of confusion, we were allowed to set up our coats in the mini chapel that overlooked the cafeteria with floor to ceiling windows. After a quick announcement, soon a very orderly line formed at the entrance of the chapel, full of people looking forward to a delayed Christmas gift. Three or four at a time, we let people in, who proceeded to try on coats and check their quality before choosing one item. Most all of the people were extremely thankful and sought to have a quick conversation with you. I talked to one man who could recite the exact length in miles of the I-5 freeway that runs from Canada to Mexico. Small conversations like this threw me into an immediate reflection mode. Even though I am beyond fortunate to attend a school like Gonzaga, intelligence is not owned by the few. Everyone on this planet could teach me something; I just need to open my eyes and notice.
Afterward, the Knights all met at Mulligan Field for a little snow football and basketball. I’m not sure one event has ever left me feeling happier or more satisfied. Service can help improve the lives of the people you help, but it will also change your personal life just as much.
- Alec Pasqualina
Knight of Gonzaga