Saturday, October 31, 2009


Sunday night, Nov. 1st is our big event. We'll be celebrating the book we've written, Those People, and having a fundraiser as well (details on our web site). The intent is to raise awareness of our need for a new facility so that we can improve and increase our outreach to people in need. Some would argue that it's a new beginning. I would suggest that is not the case at all.

Nearly 30 years ago a group of caring individuals came together. They realized there were real people struggling to get by: elderly, working poor and homeless who needed a helping hand. Today, it is the same situation. Only this time there is a larger gathering of neighbors to lend support. The broader community recognizes that the needs in our neighborhoods continues to grow. They further accept the calling and responsibility to respond, just as that small group did years ago.

Often, there is more power and hope in an old beginning...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hot Tickets

The conversation never really went too far.

On Sunday, November 1st, Manna on Main Street will be holding its fundraiser to celebrate its book "Those People" and to raise seed funding so that we might find a larger facility. Also on that evening there will more than likely be an event in Philadelphia that may create a conflict for a handful of individuals. The question was, should we do something to accommodate those who may be torn between watching a baseball game and making a difference in the lives of people in need.

The conversation never really went too far...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Mess

That was the best way to describe my office Thursday morning. My laptop was resting on a shelf littered with papers. My desk was covered with a tablecloth. A large folding sign was in the center of the desk along with a stack of fliers. I had to smile. It was the nursing students again. They had taken over our offices the previous Friday providing flu shots, and they were back again offering health screenings and advice to our clients.

It's really an ideal situation for everyone. The nursing students get to practice what they have learned by working directly with individuals who often do not have access to health care. Often it creates chaos, and a bit of overcrowding in our small facility, but it's worth it. The clients really appreciate the personalized attention they would not receive in a clinical setting. It is really an expression of what Manna is all about: people coming together in a friendly, caring environment, to serve and to be served...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It isn't and It is

Tickets. For the past couple of weeks our board members and other volunteers have been focusing on selling tickets for our upcoming November 1st event. We will be at the Lansdale Center for the Performing Arts, celebrating the book we've written, and having a fund raiser for Manna. The funds raised will be used as seed funding to find a new building for Manna.

One of the board members put it well: It isn't about the money, and then again it is. We aren't raising money for money's sake, we're doing for a larger reason. Our present space is woefully inadequate to effectively serve our clients today. And it is limiting our ability to grow and explore new ways that we could serve. And so it is about raising money. Part of that will come through ticket sales, and the other from the auction and raffle items we will have at the event.

Details are available at

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mom and Dad on Main Street

Reality TV inched a bit closer to reality. Yesterday, a camera crew from BBC New York was on site to film an episode of Bank of Mom and Dad. The show will be aired on Wednesday, Nov. 11th at 10 pm (Verizon channel 143 SOAPnet). The premise of the show is this: young women find themselves in financial difficulty and turn to their parents to help them out.

In this segment, Stacy, came to Manna on Main Street to give back to the community and also have a reality check on where she could find herself if she didn't learn to better manage her money. Stacy prepared a salad, helped carry in food donations and served meals to Manna's clients. She also had the opportunity to talk with some of the regulars and get a perspective on what their lives are like.

One of the things revealed in those conversations is that for many of our clients, Manna winds up playing the role of parents. Good people find themselves in difficult situations and need someone to turn to for help. Sometimes the help is a meal, a little financial support or just someone to listen and offer advice. Like good parents, we don't give them everything they ask for, but we do our best to lead them to the path for a better life...