Making a Difference: Irongate Soup Kitchen Volunteer dedicates herself weekly to feeding the poor

TULSA - Every day Tulsa's Irongate soup kitchen feeds six to eight hundreds hungry or homeless people. It takes an army of volunteers to do the job.  One special lady makes a difference by donating her time each and every week.

Every morning the line for a hot meal stretches out the door and across the parking lot.

Each Thursday, Cindy Cook, is the smiling face greeting those in line with a cheerful, "would you like everything?" as she dishes up plates heaping with steaming hot food.

Cindy says "we serve breakfast and lunch and then when we're finished with that I stay after and help pack groceries and help distribute groceries in the afternoon."

A year and a half ago Cindy was looking for a place to volunteer.  She read an article about Irongate.  At that moment she knew it was the place for her.  Since beginning her volunteer work she hasn't missed a week.  Irongate's volunteer coordinator.

Meghann Ray says that makes Cindy an invaluable asset to to the soup kitchen's work. "Cindy makes a difference because of her dedication, her compassion, she's very loyal to Irongate. She comes every single Thursday. She stays with us almost the whole morning."

Irongate began serving hearty meals and handing out sacks of groceries in 1978.  About one quarter of those it serves are homeless.  The other three quarters are low income Tulsans who find it difficult to pay all their bills and still have money left over for food. 

Cindy says one of the best things about volunteering on the front line is getting to meet and know the people she helps.

"So many of the people are so incredibly grateful for what they receive and it just brings a lot of joy to me and I walk away from Irongate feeling like maybe I made just a little bit of difference in somebody's day."

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