Friday, September 25, 2009

The Doctor Makes Home Visits

It was 6:00 when the doctor arrived this morning; along with him were more than 50 members of his drill team. Yes, It was Dr. Drill again. He and his troops delivered over 35 bags of much-needed food for Manna's pantry. They jogged from the local YMCA with back packs full of pasta, canned fruit and healthy snacks.

This is the time of year we have the most difficulty with food supplies. Families are getting back into the routine of school and other fall activities, and they tend not to remember to make food donations. We are thankful that Dr. O and his friends are there to help - even if it is very early in the morning...

Friday, September 18, 2009


A gentleman, we'll call him Bob, walked into our office at Manna. He wanted to know if we could give him gift cards to the local drug store. He said he was low on cash and needed to pick up some personal items. We know Bob well... and that he smokes a pack of cigarettes each day. We told him we wouldn't subsidize his smoking habit.

Michelle came to our food pantry one day, saying she just wanted to take a few items without signing-in. After she was told she couldn't just walk in a take things, she began verbally abusing the volunteer who was helping. When a staff member stepped in, we learned that Michelle never registered with us before and wasn't a resident of the community.

Individuals come to us with requests that at times can seem ridiculous; but that doesn't mean they are ridiculous. They believe their need is genuine and we do our best honor that perspective. It can be a challenge to not judge them and to uphold our personal standards of treating everyone with dignity and respect...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Do You Sumo

Saturday afternoon, Ben Gross and Andy Szekely, the two Lansdale mayoral candidates faced off in a classic sumo wrestling match. Actually, it was pretty silly... in a good way. They bounced around, grappled, danced and rolled on the ground. The reason for the match was to draw some attention to the mayoral race and to have some fun. As a side benefit, they asked spectators to donate $5 to Manna on Main Street.

But it wasn't about the money raised, or who won the matches - other borough council candidates who participated were Mary Fuller vs. Paul Clemente, Bill Henning vs. Mike Sobel, and Matt West vs. Dan Dunigan. It was really about this community and how we take time to come together, have fun, and work side by side to serve people in need.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bearing Fruit

One would think that Manna on Main Street takes a great deal of pride in what happens in our building. Seven days a week, people in need have a place to come to for friendly conversation and a hot meal. While it is rewarding to witness the many ways in which people are fed, Manna doesn't really take credit for that. It's really the caring individuals who donate the food and come to serve, who deserve the praise. I think about the words of Peter Drucker, the renowned management guru. He coined a phrase that fairly reflects our role in the community: "the fruit of our work grows up on other people's trees."