Friday, July 31, 2009


We should be feeling pretty comfortable...
- Food donations to the cupboard have been strong
- Enough funds are coming in to keep us operating
- Volunteers continue to show up to serve

Still, we look over our shoulder...
- Are we doing enough to serve people in need
- Can we utilize our resources more effectively
- Do we provide meaningful opportunities to those who want to serve

A little paranoia can be a good thing. It makes us continually examine what we do and strive to do more...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

The video was fascinating. It was a simulation of our world and the continents as they drift over the millennium. Hundreds of millions of years of movement back and forth, from far back in time, to today, to the final stage in the video: 250 millions years from now North America crashes into West Africa.

It can be sobering, trying to imagine 250 million years from now. Especially in a soup kitchen. By our very nature, we deal with the realities of the day. Yesterday we served nearly 90 meals; nursing students were here doing health checks for our guests; a check was dropped off at the Lansdale Borough building, paying for an elderly woman's utility bill. Today, as this is being written, Liz is putting the soup on the stove, uncertain how many will show up for a meal today. She will also be planning for the meals to be served tomorrow, another unknown.

Still, even though what we do is for the here and now, our works stretch beyond the day. Guests and volunteers come together, stories are shared, people are fed...

Friday, July 17, 2009


The story line becomes familiar. An individual is in crisis...

- they have received an eviction letter because their rent is past due
- their electricity has been shut off because of non payment
- the oil tank is empty and deliveries have stopped

Sometimes the individual will see themselves as a victim, a prisoner of a system that treats them unfairly. It can be paralyzing for them, causing them to do nothing. In our discussions with the individual, we do our best to have them look objectively at the situation and take ownership of their life. We help them see that at times they can become prisoners of their own thinking.

Based upon a number of different factors, we will help them through the immediate crisis; however, our long-term objective is to have them abandon the prisoner mentality. It can take months, even years for that to happen. Unfortunately for some, they never set themselves free...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Iron Eagles & Dr. Drill

It would seem that these two groups should be very different. The Iron Eagles are a local motorcycle club. Naturally, folks tend to visualize a lot of leather, denim and tattoos. And to a degree, that's true. The Dr. Drill team is a little more difficult to categorize. Lead by Dr. O, who runs a fitness boot camp, the members work out to the cadence of the good doctor. They wear camouflage t-shirts and running shoes.

What the Iron Eagles and Dr. Drill have in common is that they are incredible supporters of Manna on Main Street. Earlier this week, the Eagles stopped by with yet another truck load of food. They had a food drive and had also gone shopping with left-over money from a fund raiser. At 5:45 this morning, more than 50 members of Dr. Drill's team jogged from the local YMCA to Manna to deliver food they had collected.

Like so many of our supporters, the Iron Eagles and Dr. Drill work under the radar and often don't receive the recognition they deserve. At the same time, they don't try to make a big deal out of their good works. They just do it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Frisbee Food

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are frequent helpers at Manna on Main Street. They come as part of a troop activity and then wind up returning when it's time for them to earn a special badge. John McCullough is one in a long line of Eagle Scouts who chose a project to benefit Manna. While most of the Scouts have opted to build shelves or undertake a repair project, John took a different route. He organized an Ultimate Frisbee tournament, recruiting eight different teams. Each player was required to bring nonperishable food goods, and John wound up collecting over 500 food items. John is just another example of how the young people in our community find innovative ways to give back and make a difference.