For this week, we were assigned to read the first part of the novel, Shane by Jack Shaefer. As this is the last event/service blog entry, I felt this part of the novel was fitting for reflecting on my overall experience at Care-A-Van this past year. During this part of the novel, the readers are introduced to they mysterious Shane and the kind family he stays with. Although there was not a lot of action, I anticipate a big event or situation arising. Shane is initially described as a man who is lean, wears mostly black and keeps to himself creating a mysterious character. He is friendly and courteous, complimenting Marian’s cooking and gets along with the whole family. After a couple of days the narrator and his family get to know Shane more and sees that he is an observant, cautious and the narrator can sometimes sense a hint of danger in Shane. When I meet people at Care-A-Van, I do not know their history and they many of them do not openly share their stories. Only after talking with them and getting to know them, do I understand their background.
The thing Shane did that had the most profound impact on me was on the second day of his stay at the Scarlett’s household. Shane asks about the tree stump and Joe replies that he has been working on removing the stumps and roots but they are tough to get rid of. Later on Shane picks up an axe and starts cutting away at the stump. Both the narrator and his father are surprised at the strength Shane has, as he has thinner build than Joe. The father joins in and the two of them work together for the day to loosen the stubborn roots and stump. Surprisingly, neither Shane nor the father says much when they work and seem to know what each person is thinking. At the end of the day, Shane and Joe triumphantly lift the stump out. With teamwork they were more efficient and accomplished much more than if Joe or Shane worked independently.
I think teamwork is very important in the world and I believe nothing can get done if everyone thinks and lives independently. Usually when someone does something, another person is affected and they do something, which creates a cycle. I remember the first time I went to downtown for Care-A-Van; it was a warm autumn evening and one of the people that came to receive food held the trash bag and asked others to put their trash in the bag and not on the streets. He stated that since we were serving them, the people should do their part and clean up their mess, otherwise we would have to clean up before we left. Not only was the man helping us, but he was also promoting the idea of keeping the environment clean. Care-A-Van is a combination effort of the sandwich makers, the downtown volunteers and the people who come to receive the food and drinks. Without the sandwich makers, the downtown volunteers cannot hand out food. Without the people who receive, information about Care-A-Van and other meal programs and assistance, in general, would not be as successful. I think more people should become involved with issues in the world, their country and their community, instead of worrying about themselves. By collaborating with others I believe we can solve any issues including the concerns of homelessness and poverty.