Wednesday, March 13, 2013

30 Years...

of giving, loving, serving and providing. I think these are some of the best people ever.

I'm not religious, but definitely spiritual, so I just loved what they wrote towards the end of the second paragraph and the entire third!


In August of this year, 2013, Loaves & Fishes will celebrate its 30th year of providing hospitality and survival services to those among us who, for whatever reasons, cannot provide for themselves. So we are proclaiming this year a celebration of “30 Years of Miracles!” We all tend to think of a miracle as something defying the laws of nature, or caused by Divine intervention such as a blind person suddenly able to see or someone suddenly cured of a fatal disease!

Mother & Daughter Eating Lunch at Loaves & FishesLoaves & Fishes was named after the miracle of the loaves and fishes in the Gospel where Jesus fed a crowd of over five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. That was truly an awesome and huge miracle! Some hold that Jesus himself actually caused the loaves and fishes to multiply as they were being distributed to the crowd while others believe that when people saw the tiny bit of food being passed around everyone began to share whatever food they had with those who had little or none, so that over 5,000 people were fed with twelve baskets left over! I believe that Loaves & Fishes exemplifies the latter theory of everyone sharing what they have with those who have not.

In my 30 years at L & F I have learned to look, not for the huge miracles, which have surely taken place here, but for the millions (literally) of “small” miracles that have taken place here daily during this period of time only because of your generosity! Whenever I watch our homeless guests leisurely enjoying a savory meal graciously served by volunteers in our Dining Room, I see a miracle! I see a miracle when someone leaves our Wash House relaxed and smiling after a hot shower, a shave, new socks and clean clothing – and that’s two hundred showers a day! It’s a miracle when a child living and sleeping on the streets day after day, night after night, can be a child again if even for a few hours at our Mustard Seed School. Clean and sober for one day? That’s truly awesome! It’s also miraculous that someone will call you by name and patiently listen to your story without judgment or vindication. I could go on and on, but I’d like to reflect metaphorically on the great miracle that IS Loaves & Fishes!

Loaves & Fishes itself is like a tiny seedling planted 30 years ago by a small group of people dedicated to the work of the Gospel. The seedling grew throughout the years and became a strong, healthy and beautiful tree. For thirty years its soil has been enriched and watered and its branches have been pruned by loving, caring staff members, volunteers, donors and our Board of Directors. Throughout the years thousands of people have come to the tree to partake of its fruits to nourish their bodies and its shade to revive their spirits.

The “tree” is the Community of Loaves & Fishes composed of thousands of donors, volunteers, staff, the Board of Directors, and our homeless guests. We have all have collaborated to make our Mission a reality. We are all thankful that we have been able do God’s work here. However, isn’t it sad that it needs to be done? My dream of 30 years has been to arrive at Loaves & Fishes one morning and find no one here! Now wouldn’t that be a HUGE miracle indeed?!

May our God return your generosity a hundred fold!


Chris Delany

P.S. Chris and Dan Delany are the founders of Loaves & Fishes. Dan is retired and unwell; Chris continues to volunteer daily at Loaves & Fishes.

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