We asked you to share what compassion means to you. We have been moved, motivated and inspired by these stories from our Archewell Community.
I am a resident of the Commonwealth of Dominica — a beautiful Caribbean island paradise. As we know, poverty and misfortune have no boundaries. When I was about to confirm in my church many years ago, I took up a feeding program where I had to go every Thursday morning to feed the people who live on the streets in the capital city of Roseau. Having spent so much time with the people who are considered vagrants, I began to learn their names and their stories. I found that much of their downfall was related to mental health problems, and that they once had loving families and roofs over their heads. Sadly, mental health isn’t very well taken care of back home. My mother and I worked with this feeding program for many years.
Last year, with the implications of COVID-19 the regular donations to feed these people dwindled and many of the group members became unavailable to prepare and dish out the meals. I am away from home, but I visit as often as I can, and last year, I listened to my mother on the phone tell me of her solo missions: of waking at 4 AM to cook and package meals, then dishing out those packages to well over 70 people. Some of them she regularly has to hunt down because they roam the capital city. I wished badly to be by my mother’s side, but I was also very proud to see her up to her usual philanthropy, and I constantly prayed for her protection. She always says to me: “No matter what people have done, or gone through, no man should be deprived of a meal.” To me, this is compassion.