The Budapest Bike Maffia (BBM) is a civil organisation in Hungary, doing volunteer work to assist homeless people and families in need. On an annual basis, they distribute more than a hundred thousand portions of food. This food is prepared and made by volunteers. Last year, I volunteered for the organisation for many months, helping with producing and packaging sandwiches. Volunteering for BBM helped develop my collaborative skills. As there are no strict roles assigned to volunteers we had to work as a useful part of the team on every occasion by finding what we could currently help with and doing that job.
The session on 23rd December 2019 was the most memorable BBM session I had ever been to. Being so close to Christmas, not many people participated (we had a total of 21 volunteers for the sandwich-making), but those who did participate were certainly there because they wanted to help at the most difficult time of the year. The session, for the most part, worked just as it usually did; however, since I got there early, I got to help coordinate new volunteers. This session was a bit unique in the sense that we did not only make sandwiches. BBM wanted to give some gifts to the homeless people in the nearest shelters. Items had been sorted to create the gift boxes earlier, so our job was to package these boxes with gift wrapping paper.
Caring for the homeless this way felt wonderful, and I been have left thinking that the time I have spent with BBM was truly valuable. We might have provided somebody with their first, potentially lifesaving meal that day, even though this was in the evening. It only took me a few hours a week to volunteer for BBM, but by doing so, I could take part in the effort of making peoples' lives significantly better during the holidays. The wintertime which I perceive as a beautiful season is the same wintertime that brings struggles for survival to people on the streets.
Year 13 student