Saturday, June 19, 2010

FFY Country Store Day

On Thursdays, the Freedom Store at Freedom for Youth is open for members of the community to shop.  Clients can come early and get a number, or get one as they arrive.  Everything is free, but can only take a limited number of items.  The store has two parts: a food pantry and a clothing section.  About 10 people can enter for 10 minutes, and can choose 10 clothing items and 5 pantry items + bread.  Outside is a table of items they can take without a limit. 

I wasn't sure what to expect as we were setting up.  My job was to watch one section of the room and when each group's time was up, to count and bag items.  The first group to enter was almost all African and Asian mothers with babies strapped on with long strips of cloth.  Adorable babies.  Throughout the day, they made up the majority of shoppers .  I even got to hold a little Hispanic baby while her mother shopped.  Children and teens get to go to the store on Wednesdays and get 3 items, so they aren't allowed on Thursdays unless they're really small.
If I lived in the US, I'd enroll in Spanish classes right now.  It was difficult to tell which clients were able to speak English at all, so most interactions were conducted with sign language.  I used up the entirety of my Spanish in about 3 seconds ("Hola!" count to 10, "Otra mas" if they didn't have 10, "Gracias," y "Adios!").  I dropped a couple of "Da's" though, instead of "Si's".  But I'm sure speakers of dozens of other languages came in.  Ah, if I could have any super power, it would be to speak every language. 

PS Later on we did hip hop abs again... this time the teenage girls even brought DVDs!

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