Felicity Campion distributign casseroles at one of the Labre stops

What exactly is that? A commonly asked question that comes to mind when one is referring to Labre to someone unfamiliar with the event. From a basic understanding, Labre is a program in which students help prepare and distribute food to those in need in two different areas of downtown Toledo. While both sufficient and accurate, this explanation lacks so much of what makes Labre what it is. Different for everyone, it’s rare that someone doesn’t get something more and a much greater experience from doing this than what they were anticipating. As someone who has participated in Labre for going on the past two years I still have these experiences where I’m continuously touched in different ways from doing this project.

Student playing soccer with one of the youngsters who come for a meal

One such insight that I’ve gathered through participating is there are endless things to learn from those you meet. When serving them you’re not just providing them with a meal but rather as we at Campus Ministry like to say, “the food is the vehicle for conversation,” and allows you to connect with people you may not ever have, or considered the possibility of, before. You aren’t just serving them though, they’re also serving you even though you may not always realize it. You’re coming into their territory, that’s their familiar zone where you’re just a guest. By allowing us to serve them and provide them with a warm meal that everyone deserves, you’re bestowed with a gift of perspective and getting to know what life is just a little more than you had before. So next time you hear about Labre, I hope you think about more than just of the opportunity to help others but the opportunity it provides for individuals to grow outside of themselves.

Felicity Campion is a Sophomore English Major from Lewis Center, OH

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