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A Walk in the Rain

by Kathie Monroe, Communications

Rain. Rain. Rain. It’s poured non-stop for days. Not quite 40 days, but it feels that way. It’s as if I clicked my shoes together three times and found myself in Seattle instead of Irvine.

I usually welcome a little change in the ever-sunny southern California weather, especially around the holidays. But yesterday, I reached my rain quota.

My tipping point was trying to find a parking space at lunch. I ended up several rows away from the restaurant.

I don’t usually mind a walk and I had an umbrella after all. But the endless rain has impacted my tolerance level.

How far would you walk for a meal?

Not long after lunch, I met someone who walked five miles for his groceries. In the rain. Without an umbrella. And he arrived with a smile on his face!

I met Paul while visiting one of the pantries our food bank serves in Rancho Santa Margarita.

Parking spots were scarce there too. I had to park across the street at another business and walk over. In the rain. Huddled under my umbrella. It was becoming an annoyingly wet afternoon.

While I was chatting with one of the volunteers, an elderly man walked up to the pantry entrance. I overheard a volunteer named Jan talking to him about walking over in the rain and without an umbrella.

I quickly grabbed my trusty umbrella and was about to offer to walk Paul out to his car. I just assumed that he had to park down the road like me.

I was all wet.

You see, Paul had walked over from his apartment to pick up his weekly bag of groceries. Jan asked Paul where he lived, and then offered to give him a lift home.

After Jan returned, she told me a bit more about Paul. I found out that Paul’s in his 70’s and legally blind, so he can no longer drive. He didn’t have the bus fare, so he walked over. Jan estimated the distance to be about five miles.

Like many seniors these days –15% of those in Orange County -- he needed that bag of groceries to get him through the week.

Thanks to the San Francisco Solano food pantry and their volunteers, Paul not only has groceries for the holidays, but a little reprieve from the rain. 

Second Harvest Food Bank serves 470 other agencies who give the gift of food and shelter from the storms of life to people like Paul.


  • Very touching. We really take our blessings for granted. What we see as no big deal to others is a struggle, like getting a meal. I am very fortunate to be able to help at the food bank.

    Posted by Alma | January 07, 2011 at 03:18 PM

  • Exactly! Thank you & all your generous volunteers for going the extra mile to help out folks like Paul.

    Posted by Kathie | January 17, 2011 at 10:45 AM

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