This is the time of Thanksgiving, a time to reflect on past and current blessings and for looking forward to the blessings to come.
My heart fills with gratitude as I reflect on how much we have grown in the past 20 years from serving clients a meal in the elements at the banyan tree park to having a wonderful site at Leitner Park where clients can eat with dignity under a covered pavilion and volunteers can serve from a clean, equipped air conditioned kitchen. We are all blessed to have the comfort of this facility. Likewise, we were blessed to be gifted the Women’s Club facility that has been remodeled so beautifully and is a meeting place for many
organizations and our services.
The clients feel blessed to have groceries to take home to have adequate nutrition, especially for growing children. The special expensive food items and the complete chicken dinner for the weekend helps relieve financial stress. The donated clothing is also a blessing for many who cannot afford new cloths. They are greatly needed by immigrants who have recently arrived with only the clothes on their back.
People who live in the migrant camps and seniors who are isolated feel blessed that we bring food, toiletries and household essentials to them. Seniors also are delivered a hot nutritious meal and appreciate having someone to discuss their concerns.
We are blessed to have four vehicles so that we can take people who have no transportation to our site to eat and to partake in all of the services offered there. We are able to transport people to medical and other
essential appointments. It means a lot to have a caring person stay by them during their weekly dialysis or therapy sessions.
There are special blessings for clients who have been given the opportunity to learn a new skill that can enrich their lives as the children who have learned to play the guitar or piano or have been given an instrument so they can advance their talents. Children were provided swimming lessons which may save their lives. Women share with each other in support groups while learning new skills as sewing and cooking in hopes of having their own business. They feel empowered as they improve their English skills.
One of our greatest blessings is the multitude of volunteers who come with love in their hearts to give their time and talents to serve. We appreciate our cooks, servers, sorters of clothes and food, drivers, teachers, barber, outreach workers, office helpers, and others. We are blessed by our donors who are our lifeline and who have made all of this possible.
“The kindly man will be blessed, for he gives of his sustenance to the poor.”
May God Bless you richly as you have blessed others,
Marietta Bala, Chairperson
Board of Directors, Café of Life