November is coming to a close and Christmas is fast approaching. When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of the opportunities I have to stop and really appreciate all that God has blessed me with-family, friends, community and a job that affords me the chance to bring hope to people every day. What do you give thanks for?
Recently I had the honor of being present at the re-opening of the new Food Bazaar in our community. It was wonderful to see how many employees Food Bazaar hired from the community. More than 100 locals were so excited to be part of something new in the community and we are grateful to Food Bazaar for their commitment to our community and to Bread and Life. This month they partnered with Bread and Life and the The Amazin’ Mets Foundation (NY Mets) to distribute 1,000 gift cards through our kiosks allowing guests to select a card and customize their Thanksgiving Baskets. Currents TV, a local Catholic TV program, visited that day and interviewed a number of our volunteers and guests, all of whom were so grateful for the chance to select what they needed for the holiday ensuring that their traditions and their special dishes would be on their holiday table this Thanksgiving. (Scroll down to our “In The News” section to see the video.) In total, Bread and Life served more than 16,000 guests in just 7 days through our pantry, mobile market and hot meal program ensuring that everyone had a special Thanksgiving.
This month, I am so grateful to the Charles Lawrence Keith and Clara Miller Foundation for their support. As their foundation sunsets, their financial support is helping Bread and Life to sustain our state of the art emergency food pantry over the next 5 years and establishing a new education fund for current staff, both incredible gifts with the potential to unlock so many new avenues for our team members.
I am also grateful to the amazing volunteers who helped keep the wheels turning here — St. Francis Prep, St. John’s University, Ridgewood Savings Bank, The Federal Reserve, and Google — and as always to our faithful supporters and donors, THANK YOU! Take a look at our new brochure for more information about volunteering.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I ask that you please consider supporting our 27th Annual Sponsor A Family Holiday Program. With the kindness of our amazing supporters and volunteers, we aim to provide a full holiday meal and a gift card for a child’s Christmas present to over 750 families. Your contribution, regardless of size, directly impacts the lives of those in need.
Finally, as we give thanks, I am reminded of this quote by Randy Pausch, “Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” So, let’s give thanks for one another.