INTERFAITH HOMELESSNESS NETWORK
A SAFE PLACE FOR YOU
We had another great Thanksgiving event on Thanksgiving day 2011. We served about 100 Homeless Guests, and had a lot of food for them to take home. The Volunteers came out in great numbers and all of the Guests were welcomed. This was the 7th year that we opened the doors of San Leandro Community Church to this event.
Everyone had a good time and Guests and Volunteers said that they look forward the next year.
We missed Chuck and Suzanne at the event this year due to illness, bu they will be back in 2012.
If you want to volunteer to plan to participate in 2012, please let us know.
THANKSGIVING 2011 MUSINGS by Gene Bass
In mid October 2006 Interfaith Homelessness Network received a challenge /opportunity to extend our April Showers program to include a Thanksgiving lunch for the homeless.
This was made possible with a generous offer from Suzanne and Chuck of San Leandro to serve a Thanksgiving Lunch on Thanksgiving Day. IHN steering committee adopted the challenge to sponsor the project and agreed to supplement the food and their plans to do so.
San Leandro Community Church agreed to host the lunch and the lunch plans were in high gear. A request was sent out to supply money, pumpkin pies and other items needed to make this a success. The response was overwhelming. We needed 20 pies, and at last count the total offered was over 57. Offers for some pies were redirected to other needs.
Volunteers were offering everything, time, money, pies, decorations and more. It shows that the Lord is leading us in many ways, and the desire to serve the underserved was and is alive and well. BLESSINGS ABOUND! We have wonderful and dedicated volunteers.
As the days progressed, the homeless were invited and many responded that it was a wonderful opportunity to have a real Thanksgiving Dinner this year. Carl at Oasis Laundry told of some homeless wanting to use their laundry vouchers which April Showers provide to able to have clean clothes for Thanksgiving Lunch. A touching story. The excitement continued with the volunteers and homeless with the expectation and interest in the special day. Food was purchased, cooking assignments doled out and the offerings of volunteers continued unabated.
Volunteers arrived Wednesday to set up the lunch room. When finished the decorations and table settings were fit for Royalty, yet there was a desire to make it grander. Volunteers started to arrive early with food, pies, beverages and other items in abundance. Suzanne’s recipes for turkey and menu turned the area into a feast of generous proportions. Volunteers served the seated guest and the atmosphere was very festive. The 70 + Guests appreciated the service and food and departed with extra food and fruit for another meal.
There was also a feeling of great satisfaction from the approximately 35 volunteers who were delighted for the experience and readily offered to do it again next year. Pictures were taken. Someone said that Irma, who is about 80, asked if a picture could be taken of her and her 2 sons. Irma 1asked if she could have a couple of prints of the photo so she could send it to her sister in London. She said with tears in her eyes "She does not know what I look like". Yes, she got the pictures.