Bring The Love
By Celeste Desoto; photos by Jocelyn Land
Bring the Love is an outreach program at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in which volunteers partner with the US Vet Center twice a month to prepare and serve a hot meal to U.S. Veterans. The veterans in the program are from all branches of the military and served in a variety of conflicts past and present. All vets helped by Bring the Love have had some physical, emotional, or psychological trauma attributed to their service.
Bring the love was started 8 year ago by a senior’s group at CRCC that wanted to give back to the community. One member of the group had formerly served in the military and so they chose to focus their attention in that direction. Bring The Love feeds 150 vets at each outreach and requires an average of 20 to 30 adult volunteers to make it happen. Volunteers are split into two teams, a food prep team, and a table host team. Once all the work is done and the vets have been served all the volunteers sit down and visit with them.
Some of the veterans have even become members of the church after finishing the program at the US Vet Center. Anyone who wants to volunteer can do so by going to the church website. The church provides the food, supplies, and even transportation. I have actually participated as a volunteer with Bring the Love and it gave me a sense of pride to be part of a program that was saying thank you to those who served in our military. I was excited to show my gratitude to those who defended our country. I usually don’t talk to people I don’t know, but I stepped out of my comfort zone for this good cause and talked with the vets.