Monday, July 26, 2010


The word irregulars can have a negative connotation to it - it indicates that something is out of synche with the norm. Lately, there have been a lot of irregulars at Manna on Main Street, and that is a good thing. But first, Manna's definition of regulars: volunteers who serve on a regular basis. We love our regulars. They help at the soup kitchen or food cupboard all year long, with some of them coming every week. During the summer time, we offer them the opportunity to take some time off so the "irregulars" can have a chance to serve.

The irregulars are often students that have off for the summer, business teams looking for a service project and families wanting to have a joint activity. More often than not, the irregulars do not have a good handle on all the activities at Manna and things can get a bit chaotic. They don't know where to find the napkins, they're unsure where to put a donation and they are baffled by the some of the requests from our guests. But all of that doesn't mean too much. What really matters is that they are excited about serving and helping others. They bring a new-found energy and passion to the work at hand. Kids that come to help often run back to the kitchen so they can serve the next plate of food. And the adults have as much fun as the young people when they have their chance to sign our walls after they are done serving.

Just like our regulars, we love our irregulars as well...

Monday, July 19, 2010

No Power

This weekend the power went out at Manna. There was momentary confusion as we searched for the main circuit breaker. It took a few tries, but we figured it out and the lights came back on.

Many of the folks that come to Manna for help experience "no power" as well. Except for them, it's not as simple as flipping a switch. They may not have the tools, the knowledge, the patience (the list goes on) to make the necessary adjustment. And so we are here for them, along with many caring neighbors, to help them reset, re-energize and move on with their lives...

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Do Not Call" Listing

Good people continue to struggle because of:

  • no job
  • health issues
  • life emergencies
More and more agencies are also out of funding. Even some of the partners we usually rely upon have told us:

  • don't give out our name
  • don't call us
  • we can't do anything right now.

You won't find Manna on that list...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

100 Million Visitors

Backdrop: Lansdale Borough; 3.1 square miles, population ~ 16,000.

What would it be like if over the course of the year, that Lansdale would have 100 million visitors. Why would they have come; what would have been so compelling that 100 million unique individuals would have trekked to this small town.

A shift in focus: Manna on Main Street, 2,000 square feet (generously); volunteers ~ 2,400.

It's the same scale! 100 million visitors to Lansdale would be the same as Manna having 2,400 volunteers over the course of a year. What is it that's so compelling about Manna. Some of that answer lies in our mission of taking care of people in need; a portion of it is because we're very accommodating when people want to help. Too, it says a lot about the type of people we are. "We" meaning, the people in this and our extended community. We all want to help and give back to a cause that is larger than all of us...