Corey Yardley

Dream Big

Mission of Hope!

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In attempt to maximize my fundraising for the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. I thought up of a challenge for myself to not only increase donations but more importantly push myself to try and make the world a better place. Not only would I jump and swim in frigid waters, but I basically gave each donor a coupon to have me do whatever it is they want me to do. I am doing one challenge a week for a year!
My first assignment was given to me by Shauntel Wagner. She asked me to volunteer in a soup kitchen at a homeless shelter. When I asked for a little direction she pointed me to Mission of Hope in Cedar Rapids.
I’ve never been to a shelter, nor have I even served food to anyone. (for those who know me, knows how clumsy I am) I was a little nervous walking up to the church.
Of course, everyone was very welcoming and my nerves were gone as soon as I introduced myself. Those helping prepare dinner were a mix of shelter members, regular volunteer/employees, and then me of course.
The head of the kitchen’s name was Mary. My first thought when I saw her was that she looked like Red from Orange is the New Black. Same hair color, style, and Red is also the leader of the kitchen in the prison.
For those who have seen this Netflix series, know that Red is MEAN. Mary may have looked like Red, but was very sweet.
I set up the dinner they had been cooking throughout the day. BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, party potatoes, chips, cookies, and more was on the menu. I got to fill and hand out kool aide. Almost all 58 members thanked me and smiled.
I truly felt appreciated even though I was just handing them Kool Aide.
After dinner was served I rinsed all of the trays before they were put in the dish washer.
After we cleaned up I helped organize all of the cupboards for my final task. Mary seemed so thrilled to have all of the canned foods together.
I said my goodbyes and couldn’t help but get a picture with “Red”.
I know that people think that I’m giving back and helping others. But if I didn’t enjoy new experiences, meeting amazing people, and that feeling I get when I feel like I am making a difference, I can’t say I would do it.
Week 1 complete! Thank you Mission of Hope for the amazing experience! If you would like to donate, volunteer, or get more information visit


Written by coreyyardley

December 8, 2014 at 6:23 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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