Monday, March 29, 2010

Destruction, Deliverance

Last week, last year, ten years ago...

  • A young mother with a drug addiction neglects her 8-year old daughter
  • Alcohol continues to hold back a middle-aged gentleman from finding a job
  • The woman with a mental illness complains about abuse from her partner, but never leaves him
It can be disheartening at times, being a constant witness to the challenges people face; people we can feel as close to as family. We could judge them and insist that they create their own problems, make bad decisions, choose to be in that situation. Instead, we do our best to be supportive, make them aware of their options, point them to a potentially better path.

Occasionally, one of them breaks free from the demons that hover about them. That's when we celebrate.

But, it's been a while.

Perhaps this week...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Less Than Perfect

In spite of all the good we attempt to do, there are still a number of things that keep us from moving forward, and being all that we want to be. For example:

  • We serve our meals on flimsy paper plates, instead of real china
  • There is seating for only 15 people - sometimes folks have to wait outside
  • Too often we refuse financial aid to someone in need
  • Pies, cakes and other sweets are too often found on our shelves
  • Far too many volunteers are turned away for lack of space to accommodate them
These, and the many other imperfections we live with can actually be good. They confront us every day and challenge us. How can we increase our service to people in need? How can we better engage our volunteers to help make a difference in people's lives? How can we make our small operating space larger in our outreach?

Less than perfect helps us to maintain our heart, our passion, our striving to do more...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Generous Winners Redux

JT, the winner of our cookie guessing contest is an elderly gentleman who lives alone. For his custom dinner, he requested, and Barry, our food service manager, prepared for him Flounder Francoise, asparagus and red bliss potatoes, along with an appetizer of cheese and fruit. One of our volunteers ran down to the local thrift store and picked up some china and silverware (the thrift store insisted on selling the items to us for 1 cent). JT arrived in a suit and tie and the other staff members, Liz and Nadja served him.

The next day JT dropped off a thank you card, expressing how deeply he was touched by the experience. For us it was one of those lump in the throat experiences, one that affirmed who we are, and probably gave us a customer for life...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Great Pumpkin... erm Orange?

No one really knows for sure what produce item she represents, but Moriah Zimmerman from the Food Trust was a big help in our fresh produce drive. Landis' Market in Souderton allowed the Community Nutrition Coalition to hold the drive at their store, and we collected over 850 pounds of potatoes, oranges, apples and other fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Community Nutrition Coalition is a network of local food pantries working together to provide food and nutrition education to people in need living in the North Penn and Indian Valley region.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Beauty of Tedium

Every day it's the same thing:
  • Put soup on the stove top, meal in the oven
  • Restock the plates, cups, plastic-ware and napkins
  • Serve a meal to the guests
  • Clean up
  • Restock shelves for the food pantry
  • Help guests with the grocery shopping
  • Clean up
  • Put the afternoon meal in the oven
  • And on and on
Day after day, year upon year, the routine is repeated. What keeps us going is the beauty this tedium brings about. The guests are grateful, volunteers are fulfilled and everyone looks forward to the next day...