Be the Cause

Compassion Cell: Camillus House

On September 10th, I, Angel Castillo, had the privilege of working with Be The Cause, alongside some of my fellow students from Coral Gables Senior High School: Anoop Bhatt, Jorge Valero, Jorge Beltran, Annalays Garcia, and Forest Neal. Our project was to go to the local Camillus House branch here in Miami to assist in feeding the homeless and maintaining the dining area for them.

I can honestly say I have not had an experience more rewarding than this before. My fellow students and I were able to fully grasp how we were not simply giving them food, but also a smiling face, a kind word, perhaps a sense of dignity in that they can have a place to sit down and eat a proper meal. We took the time to wrap silverware in napkins for them to use, we made sure that the tables were immaculately clean for them, that they ALWAYS had a full pitcher of water, and that everything was to their liking, because they deserved it.

That day I was wearing my Coral Gables Senior High t-shirt, and a few of the people we served would make comments about how either they, or someone they knew went there, which started some friendly conversation between them and I. As I kept talking with all of these different cases, watching them smile as we talked about the most simple things, our function as friends, and not just servers became more apparent to me. The appreciation on some of the people’s faces as we did simple things such as handing them a tray and asking “how are you today, sir?” or sitting next to them and asking them if they’re enjoying their food was all that was necessary to show us that efforts such as these to reach out to those less fortunate than us are most definitely worthwhile.

The project was not only a valuable Lose Weight Exercise in generosity, but also a lesson in cooperation, as we had to learn to properly organize ourself to make sure the food was served quickly and efficiently. We were fortunate to have the more experienced Camillus House staff guiding us each and every step of the way so that we performed our duties properly.

Speaking personally, this particular project opened up my eyes to the magnitude of the homeless problem here in Miami, as I honestly did not have a good idea before. To see people coming through the lines multiple times, filling their bags with the food we give them, so that way they could hope to have some sort of supply for a period of time, people so lucky just to get their hands on a chicken wing, young, old, of any and all races, was heartwrenching. It’s true that sometimes to be willing to solve a problem you have to get to see the problem for yourself, and that’s what happened to me. After that Saturday I have become much more willing to work with Be The Cause to attempt and make some sort of difference in these people’s lives for the better.


  • michele

    Wow! Your experience sounds like it was truly profound. It always seems to work that way. We volunteer somewhere, but we’re the ones who end up taking away more from the experience than we ever could have left. But at the same time, I’m absolutely sure that you made a human connection with the people you served that they won’t soon forget. They left that center content, not just from the food, but from the conversation, the human contact, and the feeling of mutual respect that you and your friends provided that day. I’m inspired by your efforts and more importantly by your insights.

  • Sukh

    Your experience sounds amazing. I am glad that we are all learning that serving isn’t about helping anyone, its about blurring the boundry between giver and receiver. Many times when we come together as volunteer and we meet the people we are to serve, something new is born altogether. That new birth of a mentality or attitude is what service is all about. Birthing a new way of looking at the world. Thank you for looking at the world through the eyes of compassion. Your work and your words are making an impact, even in the lives of people here in California. Thank you!!!

  • You have very interesting blog! Thank you!

  • Some body was coming for dinner.
    They were trained enough to provide best service:

    A kind word
    A smiling face
    Handing him a tray
    Provide a proper meal
    Ensure sense of dignity
    Wrap silverware in napkins
    Provide a place to sit down
    To ask “how are you today, sir?”
    Make sure that everything was to their liking
    Make sure that the tables were immaculately clean
    Make sure that they ALWAYS had a full pitcher of water
    To ask them if they’re enjoying their food

    This is not a five star hotel atmosphere. This happened on 10 Sep, 2005 at Be The Cause’s fist Miami Compassion Cell at Camillus House.
    Be The Cause’s volunteers provided these services and treated every homeless person as a king.
    By serving these people you have served the Lord Himself and you have got best “Tip”…….. Blessings of The Lord.

    Congratulation Be The Cause on the success of 1st Miami Compassion Cell.

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