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What do we need to do to make someone smile? Do we have to give presents?
Do we have to make a joke? Do we have to give money? Or is it enough to share some words with someone? Let me tell you an interesting story about making people smile by only giving someone a smile. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make someone happy.
It’s 9 in the morning and my host mom calls me for breakfast. After washing my face I walk to the kitchen. She greets me with a warm smile and serves me a delicious bowl of soup.
While eating breakfast, my host mom is asking me questions about last night. Knowing that I will meet Armen in a few minutes, I drink my Armenian coffee and get dressed quickly.
We meet and head to the Soup Kitchen. With Ayo!’s help the Soup Kitchen in Gyumri has new kitchenware. Entering the Soup Kitchen, two big brown eyes filled with love and sadness greet me. “Barev dzez jan,” says the old lady. Hello, darling. Her face is covered with wrinkles. Somehow old Armenian eyes are happy yet they always exude a hint of sadness. I later find out that this woman doesn’t have a family who can care for her. Sadly, her husband has died and all of her children have moved out of Armenia to pursue better futures. But what about her future?
While talking to her, I felt many things. First, I felt sorry for her. She must be very lonely. But when she talked about how she loves coming to this soup kitchen every day because it allows her to see all these people, I somehow felt a little better. Without being in that position, she would have never had the chance to come to here. While talking about coming here, her eyes widened, a smile appeared on her face and her hand reached my shoulder. She was thankful, thankful for having someone to talk to, thankful for having someone who listened to her and thankful for someone who is happy to listen to her advice. Knowing that someone appreciates what you are doing and that they are thankful for it gives you the strength to continue the work you do.
A few minutes later all of the volunteers and Ayo! members joined Armen and me and we were ready to serve the meals. The smell of delicious food filled the whole building. The voices of the elderly people sounded like music to my ears. My sweet old woman was waving at me and seeing a smile on her face gave me a warm feeling. I grabbed the plates with food, looked into the soup bowl and saw that it was made with love, love that will fill the hearts of people who will eat the meals. The same love that was given to me by my host mom during my breakfast. Ayo! This project was a success!
Click here to read more about Ayo!’s recently completed Kitchenware for Soup Kitchen project.