SMDP Outreach Testimonials
Feeding the homeless in SMDP or where they live is an essential part of what I am now doing, because it was clear that many homeless people can’t fit into society; they feel comfortable where they are, whether they come in to eat or I take the food to them. I cook at SMDP regularly, and now have a bus that I am working to fill with food and take to the homeless. When I cook dinner, I will make extra and put it in the bus to deliver to the people where they are. I made a promise to feed the world and this place is helping me do it.
Several years ago, I became aware of this Outreach Ministry in a round-about way. A friend told me about a group of people that were devoted to serving the poor and homeless. I asked how I could help and was advised they needed a washing machine to clean the laundry for the overnight homeless guests. Guests who receive a night where they can rest, sleep and a place to shower. This set me wondering, what could I do to help? I was able to raise the money to buy the washer and that started me on a very worthwhile and rewarding mission. One of our volunteers started me picking up food from grocery stores and then I worked at the food pantry but felt I needed to do more. I was asked if I could help the Board of directors and join them in this ministry. I jumped at the chance because I am what people call, a worker-bee and will use all my experience and skills to help whatever these people need to help them survive. I care about people and trust the saying, “A life is not a life unless lived for others”.
There is more to my story. This ministry not only feeds and houses those that cannot help themselves but is a mission focused on helping people regain dignity and return to society. Those who have fallen on hard times need us more now than any time in the past. Regaining or acquiring something they may have once had but have since lost is our motive. No one should ever be forgotten. These new friends are in dire need and this motivates me to help whenever or wherever I can.
Let me end with a story. I worked the food pantry awhile back and while waiting for the next guest, a little girl perhaps, 5 or 6, came and stood next to me. I said hello and continued assisting moms and dads pick up food. A little while later I noticed she was still next to me, just following. I started to wonder why I had a new sidekick. I asked her if she wanted something and received a non-recognizable answer, I believe she was Hispanic. I asked her where her mom was, and she pointed to a woman sitting at the table. By now I was holding a little hand. We walked over to mom and I asked if she knew what her daughter wanted. Mom said she wanted nothing, I just told her you were helping us get food for dinner. My life changed that day.
The staff was entirely volunteer and served people by providing meals, groceries, clothes and language skills. I was impressed with how they treated everyone with respect and compassion and how they accomplished so much with so little. Our family has been blessed and we believe it is important to share with others. St Martin de Porres is a great example of how someone can share their blessings easily and have a direct impact in the lives of those in need.
There is no bureaucracy or overhead; just wonderful caring volunteers helping humans in need!
We have become unexpectedly unable to pay our way. After the bills are paid we have only $50 to $60 a month to spend on food and everything else. Without SMDP we would be in “big time trouble”. Here we are able to get food, some clothing items and, very importantly, feel welcome. In our opinion, the volunteers are the people who make this place what it is, treating us with respect and smiles.
It is a true blessing, and we thank God that it is here and we are able to come enjoy a healthy meal in a wonderful environment.