One of the things I love the most about presenting a breakfast show is the opportunity to interact with our Smileys on their way to work or as they tackle the school run in the mornings. Sometimes I’m even given leave from the studio to do so!
With Winter just around the corner and the cold weather setting in, Bobby and I reckoned that if we were craving soup, the rest of the Mother City must be too. Thus, on the 31st of May, the idea of the first ever Smile Breakfast Pop-Up Soup Kitchen was born during Smile Breakfast. We decided to make a few big pots of soup and hand it out to people the next morning as they started their day.
Spar Cape Quarter heard about our plan and kindly offered to supply 50 litres of soup and a space to distribute it outside their store in Green Point. We were thrilled! The next morning, dressed in our beanies, coats and jackets, Bobby and I made our way out of the studio and to our pop-up soup station in Somerset Road. Between 07:00 – 08:00 we handed out over 400 cups of fresh, steaming hot vegetable and butternut soup.
It was so rewarding to see the look on everyone’s faces when they walked past, shivering from the cold, hurriedly getting to where they needed to be only to be offered something warm with a smile – a small gesture that would hopefully make their morning a little more special.
One rather burly gentleman approached me and told me that he listens to Smile 90.4FM every day and that we’ve become like family to him. He told me he’d been through a tough time recently. We chatted a little more about our stories, about sadness, about his worries for his children. And then someone behind me was asking for a cup of soup, and I had to go. He gave me a quick hug and left. As he was walking away, he looked back. He waived slightly, and smiled. I smiled back. Then he was gone.
I’m continually awed by these small moments, made of nothing but a few minutes of life shared in the entrance of a grocery store. I’m awed by the power of a smile. I’m awed by the way my heart is changed by the people who are willing and vulnerable enough to share their stories with me. I’m awed by this sometimes sad, beautiful life. What a gift it is.