Night One: Dinner For A Dollar
An intro from Neal:
This group has done a lot when asked to do a little. They’ve been doing that for a year – always responding to what was asked of them.
I’ve never seen so many of them as angry as they were, there eye-darts said to us that we had betrayed them. Some of them used their words to say as much too.
They were told that they were each going to be given a dollar and two hours to find themselves dinner in the area. If they wanted, they could pool there money, but they were forbidden from using their own money.
Honestly, even us adults were mixed as to how we felt about the idea. We asked these kids to work hard all day, and they had, all the while assuming that we would hold up our end of the bargain by providing them shelter and a hot meal.
The DOOR staff explained that the point of the activity was to provide our students with the experience as to what it might be like to try to feed yourself on a $1, like many people may have to do on a daily basis. The only way this activity would work would be for us to “enforce” the guidelines of the activity.
You can only imagine how difficult it was for us to insist that these students would be okay – because some of us weren’t even sure ourselves. And you can only imagine our surprise to watch these students sharing, laughing, and insisting that the other students in their group eat more of the collected food.
Below is a response written by Eric Schulte:
After receiving our mission of going out into the city with only one dollar to try and find dinner, we came across something special and something that was far from any of our expectations. We were told we could ask anyone for change and could look for any other spare change on the ground. But to begin with, our group had to first find the closest store in order to buy some cheap food for dinner. Sean Kenney and I came across a man in his 50’s and told him our mission and asked him for directions. He was sweaty and looked like he didn’t have any money himself.
He graciously and excitedly told us of the two stores in the neighborhood that were available to us. We started walking towards one the stores along with the man and later on down the sidewalk he asked us something extraordinary. He offered us some of his own hard-earned money in order to help us with our mission. We felt in our hearts that even though, in this one night, we only one dollar to spend when this guy probably has many nights in his life to only spend one dollar as well. As a result, we respectively declined his offer and continued on our way. The compassion and purity in this mans soul truly reflected the spirit of God in a way and place in which we would never expect.
– Eric Schulte
Every student ate til they had enough, and managed to give their extra food and money to those who seemed to need it more than we do.
God be with us, God be with Chicago, God be with those who don’t even have a dollar towards their next meal, God be with those of us who might have a dollar to spare and God be with you. Amen.