She stood their with an umbrella in one hand, empty bags tucked under her arm and her United Community food pantry distribution number card in her other hand.
When I saw her I greeted her with a smile. She asked me if I was new here? I told her I was new to helping in the pantry and I worked in another site.
She then said, "You're going to love working here, everyone here is so nice."
She went on to share how attentive, helpful and kind Rogelia -- one of our case-workers --has been to her through her struggles to feed her family. She had a large family. I gave her enough food to feed her family of 5 for a week. She was an elderly lady and would not be able to take all the heavy bags to her car alone. So although I wasn't supposed to, I offered to all her bags to the car. Her face just lit up with the biggest smile!
Stepping out into the cool rain I tried my best to keep my distance, as I helped her load her bags in the car.
As we finished she abruptly asked, " What's your name?" I said, my name is Torria, just like Victoria but without the Vic.
"How do you spell it?" she asked further.
I thought that was an odd question, but I laughed and spelled my name for her. Her next question truly threw me for a loop...
"Can I take your picture?"
Confused, I nodded my head yes. She pulled out her cell phone and said smile and took my picture. I thanked her for coming, turned around and rushed back to the building to get out of the rain. I was almost to the door when she called out, "Will you be here next week?" I told her most likely. She thanked me for helping her with her bags and drove off.
The following week she came back with that same smile and said " good morning Torria, It's so good to see you again sweetie".
I was impressed she remembered my name. I also felt embarrassed that I never asked what her name was. Sheepishly, I told her I was happy to see her as well. I took her number and walked off to get her bags of food.
Although I didn't know her name, I did remember that she had a large family, so I grabbed the appropriate amount of food from the pantry, and went to help her.
As I came to the door way with two large bags of food in hand, she held out a mug and handed it to me. As I took it from her, I noticed it had a picture of me, smiling in the rain. Turning the mug over, I read an inscription on the side was the mug -- "Sipping with Torria".
After a minute, I said "WOW thank you, you didn't have to do that, I'm here to help you, you don't have to give me anything."
The woman responded, "I bless those who are a blessing to me. Just you being here means so much to me and makes things a little bit easier and for that I am grateful."