Ever since Kim Colvin’s two sons grew up and moved out, she hasn’t had a chance to cook a big family dinner. In fact, she hasn’t had too much time to cook at all, being busy with her own job and life. For a while, cooking just was not a priority.
But one day she just felt like having a good home-cooked, roast beef dinner.
So she made roast beef with a vegetable medley—corn, potatoes, broccoli, and so on—she made macaroni and cheese, she made green beans, she grilled corn, and then she made corn muffins.
The dinner was big enough to probably feed 10 people.
After Colvin had her dinner, she went to pack up the leftovers.
Staring at all the food she made, she knew she wouldn’t finish it before it all went bad. She might have it for dinner the next day and the next, but then what? The thought crossed her mind: “I shouldn’t throw this away.”
Colvin thought about it some more and decided she was going to share the food with the homeless. There is a park near her house, and she has seen people under the gazebo, begging for change or needing a place to stay.
She started to make a plate of food, and then another, and she soon found she had enough leftovers to make 11 plates. It was already getting late, so she rushed over the park—it couldn’t have taken much more than 15 minutes, she remembered. It was just supposed to be a quick errand to run before it got dark.
She got to the park and immediately saw a man sitting on the steps. She offered him a plate, and he took it. She kept walking around the park toward the gazebo, and as she turned the corner she saw a woman on her knees praying, with three children beside her.
As Colvin recounted the story in a video she posted to Facebook, she started to cry.
She did not know it at the time, but the woman had just lost everything—she had no money, had nowhere to go, and she didn’t know how she would provide for her three children that night.
She had just been praying, “Lord, if I could just feed my children,” and then raised her head—and what she saw was Colvin, standing there with “Thank You” bags clustered on her arms, carrying plates of food in each hand. Her two daughters were tapping her on the shoulder, calling “Momma, momma.”
“She had just been praying and asking God to feed her kids if not herself.”
“And when she raised up I was standing there. And to see the tears roll down her face and how grateful she was—I was just outdone,” Colvin said, now fully crying herself.
She said she had just been at home, thinking of what to do about her leftovers. Nothing like this had even crossed her mind, but to see the light break across the expressions of the woman and her children was incredible. “They were so happy!”
Colvin took to Facebook to share her experience, because what was just a small and simple gesture she barely thought about turned out to mean the world to someone else. So what is stopping us from making these small acts part of our everyday life?
“I’m only sharing this with you guys because I know for you, like for me, a lot of times we take stuff for granted, and the small things, we dont even think about how much it means to other people, or how much we can bless other people,” Colvin said.
“This has humbled me so much, to the point where I will never, never throw away another meal.”
Colvin said she had some hamburger meat just sitting in the fridge at home—she’d been wanting to make taco salad forever, but there was a chance that the meat would go bad before she got a chance to cook it. It’s certainly happened before.
“But I’m going to go tomorrow, I’m going to cook the hamburger meat and I’m literally just going to cook it to bring it. I’m not rich, but this right here, I’m just brought to pieces,” she said.
“This could be me, this could be us. How many of these people was once us? Like they were once able and now they’re not,” Colvin said. “Just consider it when you’re done with your meal—if it fixes one plate, two plates…”
At this point, many of her followers started asking if she took photos or videos or had the names of the people sitting under the gazebo. Colvin replied that she didn’t because it didn’t feel right to film them, and it hadn’t occurred to her to document this, and thinking about it, she wouldn’t want anyone to feel ashamed either.
“But just to see the joy on those kids’ faces” made a world of difference.