At a time when my life was so difficult and I felt emotionally bankrupt, St. Susan Center opened her arms and gave me the opportunity of giving to others. Becoming a part of this generous ministry over the last three years has been such a privilege for me.
The St. Susan Center ''family'' consists of some very dedicated people who join together to provide a safe and pleasant atmosphere for our many guests/friends in need.
Our executive director, Sue, and our assistant director, Susie, are the heart and soul of the soup kitchen. It is because of their unending unconditional love and compassion that St. Susan Center is the mission it is today.
Our volunteer coordinator, Sandy, is the foundation of SSC making sure there are plenty of helpers every day. SSC is so thankful for our faithful volunteers and workers and is always seeking additional help.
Our kitchen manager, Evie, and our assistant cooks work their ''magic'' in the kitchen preparing nutritional and tasty meals seven days a week efficiently utilizing all food donations. Our guests look forward to a hot meal each day.
I, Sandi, am the dining room manager. I work with wonderful volunteers and workers serving our guests. My job is to welcome our guests with a smile, to make sure they are satisfied with their meal and, at times, to offer a listening ear from ''a friend'' who cares.
Our maintenance manager, Bill, and his assistant, Mike, strive to keep our center clean and a safe place. They are the two men we call upon when we have a dilemma.
Our dishwasher, Frankie, and helpers have the never ending task of washing the dishes, pots and pans. All are soaked, scrubbed and sterilized.
The sanitary conditions at SCC instill a sense of pride with the responsibility to always maintain New York State's health standards. If all dining establishments were as conscientious about cleanliness, one would never be concerned about enjoying a meal outside his home.
With great respect, I want to say ''thank you'' to all the dear friends I have met while giving myself to the need of others a few days a week. In a world filled with violence, heartache, sickness and poverty, it is an honor to be part of such a positive and generous atmosphere.
''Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it is about learning to dance in the rain.''
Sandra S. Wright is a resident of Jamestown.