PB & J Sandwich Service: Boulder, CO
The Sri Sathya Sai Center of Boulder, Colorado has been serving at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless for over twenty-five years. Over the years, the service has included preparing and serving meals, providing masks during the pandemic, and deep cleaning their kitchen.
Until the pandemic, center members had served one meal per month. Due to COVID, there was a disruption. Recently, however, the shelter requested for help again. Members enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity to serve; this time, twice a month. A few neighbors were also inspired to join the service.
An additional service was undertaken - delivering150 Peanut Butter & Jelly (PB&J) sandwiches to shelter residents once a month. On the fourth Sunday of the month, after the center’s weekly devotional meeting at the Cairn Christian Church, Sai volunteers convene in the community hall to prepare the sandwiches. Members take turn each month to provide the ingredients - bread, peanut butter and jelly, and 150 sandwich bags. Volunteers gather in teams of five at two tables and begin the production line – from applying peanut butter and jelly to the bread, packing the sandwiches and putting them in boxes for delivery to the shelter.
This project also provides an excellent opportunity for the children, with adult supervision, to learn the importance of service, teamwork, organization, and maintaining a clean workstation. The project takes less than an hour to complete. After the cleanup, the food is blessed with the chanting of the food prayer over the sandwiches.
A member then takes the sandwiches to the shelter for distribution the following Monday morning. For a majority of the residents, this is their only breakfast meal that day. The shelter has expressed their gratitude for the PB&J sandwiches which allows it to provide an additional meal that it, otherwise, wouldn’t be able to provide.
Although it a very small center with about fifteen active members, the volunteers are very committed to all their service activities and are grateful for these opportunities to serve.