Monday, January 23, 2012

Final Posting...

Dear Manna Friends,

By now, you probably know that I have resigned my position of Executive Director. After more than 12 years, it may seem to be a bittersweet moment; but for me there is no bitterness, only a feeling of gratitude and joy. It has been an honor to be part of such a wonderful mission, and to engage with such a supportive family of community members. While I may have been considered the face of Manna over that time, it was never about me, but rather the people we collectively serve.

To the many supporters and volunteers of Manna: I want to thank you for all you have done to help Manna grow. Whether you serve a meal, drop off food, donate financially or share your time as a volunteer or committee member, you make a difference that is impossible to measure. I now join you in this service, and encourage you to continue your support of Manna, especially as the mission grows and moves to a larger facility.

To the clients of Manna: I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve you. My constant prayer for you is that you will continue to be treated with the dignity and respect you deserve, and that through Manna, this caring community might make your lives better. I am also hopeful that you will continue to think of Manna as your extended family, a home you can always come to for help and support.

To the staff of Manna: Remember that I will remain your biggest fan. I know how demanding this important work can be; what you do is so vital to this community. I care deeply about you and will play the role of an overly-proud grandparent, bragging about how special you are and imploring the world to support and care for you as well.

Lastly, to this wonderful community: I encourage you to continue to come together; not to join hands, but to keep them ready so that we might lift up our neighbors, our friends and our extended family so that they too might share in the blessings God has so graciously given to us.

With gratitude,

Tom Allebach

Monday, January 9, 2012

Don't Change

The common sentiment, when things are right with the world, is the desire to keep things as they are. With individuals and organizations, the mindset can be "don't change" we love you just the way you are.

As Manna looks to move to our new facility in the coming months, we will be seriously considering how we can change, make conditions better for the people we serve. The changes may be disruptive and challenging, but we realize that we need to continue to evolve to meet the growing needs of the people that come through our doors.

In the midst of the change, however, will be the sameness of how we engage with people; treating them with kindness, with dignity and respect, to soften the impact of changes we will all encounter...

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year = Not Yet

While many are celebrating the arrival of the New Year, we are in the mode of considering the Not Yet. It's the same perspective of anticipating, looking ahead, thinking about what may come to pass.

As we think about our impending move to a new facility, we recognize there is still much work to be done. We know that not yet, is everyone being fed; not yet, does everyone have a warm bed for the night; not yet, is everyone living in dignity.

It is with great hope and anticipation that we will have you with us in the New Year, in the Not Yet, to consider the lasting change we can bring about for our friends, our neighbors in this community.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Leaving and Staying

You may have heard that Manna on Main Street will be moving from its current location. In a few months we're planning to vacate our 28-year home at 514 W. Main Street to Lansdale, and move to a larger facility at 713 W. Main Street in Lansdale.

Here are just a few thoughts on those components of leaving and staying:

Leaving - Clients waiting outside, not having access to a bathroom, poor access for the disabled

Staying - Caring volunteers, service above self, a welcoming place where everyone is fed...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Small Moments

For the past few weeks, Manna has enjoyed the help of an intern (we’ll call her Megan) from a local college. Megan’s studies are focused on a career in business, but she helped work on our Christmas gift program for kids.

In one of her conversations with Kristyn, Manna’s development associate, Megan was asking questions about the people that come to us for help, their life situations and the realities they face.

After more listening and more questions, it was like the flood gates opened for her – in that moment Megan came to realize how difficult life can be for others and the limited options they have.

Even though she came to Manna with a mindset for business, she will be leaving with a different perspective on the world. Like many that come through our doors, she will probably never be the same…

Monday, November 28, 2011

Still Learning

Considering Manna on Main Street's 30 years of service to the community, there could be the temptation to say that we have this all figured out. That we know people's needs, how to respond, how to best serve.

The truth is, we will never have this fully sorted out, because people's needs continue to evolve. Some of the things we did years ago (pre-packing bags of food for families, for example) would not work today, because we know they need the dignity of choice.

In fact we need to do more listening, try more innovative ways of reaching out to positively impact people's lives. While we ask more from our clients what they think, we also need to hear from you.

How do you think we can serve, do more...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Know Thanks

You may not see it, but we witness it every day.

Good people, in need, coming to the table, thanking us as they leave, filled.

Good people, in abundance, bringing food to the table, we thank them as they leave, filled.

Yes, we know thanks...