VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors from Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center helped serve dinner to some of Hampton Roads' homeless at the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center (JCOC) Sept. 26.
"We're always excited to have the military volunteer at JCOC because it's a morale boost for those we serve and an opportunity for our military folks to see what we as a community do to help the homeless here," said Todd Walker, JCOC executive director. "It's a win, win for everyone involved, and we're grateful for the assistance."
JCOC's mission is to feed homeless residents as well as those in need of a good wholesome meal once a day. JCOC serves more than 100 dinners on a walk-in basis, seven days a week, and 365 days a year for JCOC residents and non-residents.
"This is truly a humbling experience because it reminds us all that having a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our back and a great job is a privilege and can just as easily be taken away in a world filled with uncertainty," said Puerto Rico native Master-at- Arms 1st Class Jose Soto, ECRC transportation leading petty officer.
For Personnel Specialist 1st Class (AW) Shaun Evans, a native of Miramar, Fla., it serves as a reminder that we can always do a better job of balancing wants and needs.
"We all have wants and that's fine, but it's seeing people just like you and me relying upon an organization for a meal that reminds us that we sometimes need to reevaluate our true basic needs in life," said Evans, ECRC Pay and Travel leading petty officer.
In a world filled with words like sequestration, furloughs, government shutdown, foreclosures, and pink slips, Evans feels that doing something nice for those less fortunate is good for the soul.
"I feel that every Sailor and civilian should give back to the community whether it's feeding the homeless or helping the elderly because everyone has something to be grateful for and someone always has it harder than you think," said Evans.
Chief Religious Programs Specialist (SW/AW/FMF) Tracy Agyeman, military coordinator for JCOC events, is humbled by the amount of military personnel who volunteer to give back to the community.
"It is an awesome feeling to see so many Sailors show up to serve dinner to those in our community who don't have the means to make dinner themselves," said Agyeman. "This single act of kindness gives Sailors a chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and reminds them that even in a large military concentration area like ours, community members struggle daily to get at least one hot meal a day," she added.
For more news from Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/ecrc/.